Oneida, TN (2017-06-26) A sign honoring the memory of Shadow “Shada” Brooke Lowe, the 18-year-old Roane State Community College student killed in a head-on collision by an impaired driver, has been erected near the scene of the tragic accident that claimed her life. The sign was the culmination of countless hours of lobbying by the teenager’s family to change state law to allow for the permanent placement of memorials for those killed by impaired drivers, who likewise died in the crash.
On Monday, family and friends of Shadow “Shada” Brooke Lowe watched as workers from the Tennessee Department of Transportation erected a permanent memorial to the local teenager, who died on October 9, 2011 in a tragic head-on collision on Scott Highway just north of Galloway Drive. The sign was the first-ever erected following the passage of the “Shadow ‘Shada’ Brooke Lowe Act”, which forever changed state law regarding memorial signage involving victims of impaired driving accidents.
The sign reads, “Impaired Driving Costs Innocent Lives—In Memory of Shadow ‘Shada’ Brooke Lowe.”
Prior the passage of Shadow’s Law in April, memorial signs for victims of impaired driving accidents could only be requested following the conviction of the offender. In Shadow’s situation, the impaired driver also died in the crash. Per changes adopted in April, family members of victims of impaired driving crashes can now request signage by providing proof of impairment without a conviction, such as a toxicology or autopsy report.
Shadow died on October 9, 2011, when her 1999 Mercury Cougar was struck head-on in the southbound lane of Scott Highway just south of Oneida. According to the Tennessee Highway Patrol, a 2008 Ford Fusion driven by Gregory Brian Sexton, then 27, crossed the center line and struck Lowe’s vehicle.
Since her tragic death in 2011, the family had maintained a makeshift memorial in her honor on the edge of the state highway.
The state’s DUI memorial signing program provides for the erection and maintenance of memorial signs on the state highway system and the state’s portion of the interstate system commemorating residents of this state who died as a result of a DUI-related vehicular accident. No memorial signs are erected for victims who, at the time of the accident, were committing a DUI-related offense; engaging in reckless driving; or committing a felony or other criminal offense other than a traffic violation.