Students get reality check at McMinn Central football game - | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

Students get reality check at McMinn Central football game

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MCMINN COUNTY, TN (WRCB) -  The stands were packed at McMinn Central High School Friday night for the first week of Friday night football.

The McMinn County Sheriff’s Department was there too, but not to take in the game. They’re serving as a stark safety reminder for teens and their families.

The mangled metal and shattered glass come from a crash caused by one of their own.

Earlier this summer, student Nick Austin hit McMinn County Deputy Randy Gabrel head on when he took his eyes off the road to send a text.

Even though both survived, deputies are using the cars to show what can happen if you text behind the wheel.

“I see it all the time. Teenagers going down the road doing this and not paying attention,” Jerry Spriggs said.

Spriggs and his son stop to take in the scene. Next year, his son will be driving on the road.

He hopes this is a lesson to everyone that distracted driving can take lives.

“The reality of seeing it, we can hope it hits home to teenagers,” Spriggs said.

Nick and Deputy Gabrel plan on traveling to any school or event in the region to help spread their message on distracted driving.

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