A Middle Tennessee man dies a hero, helping a mother and son change a tire.
The small community of Lewisburg is mourning the loss of 42-year-old Eric Barlow.
Friends say the father was killed by a dump truck right outside of his work after saving the lives of two others on Mooresville Hwy.
“A dump truck sideswiped the vehicle and Eric pushed two people out of the way and saved their lives, he definitely saved those people and in my mind is a hero,” family friend Marty Huskins told News 2.
A hero not only that day, Huskins explained, but every day to his wife Jill and 7-year-old son Drake who was born with a congenital heart defect.
“Drake was his life. When you talked to Eric Barlow about Drake, that was his soul, that was his heart and he was proud of his son. Everything about his son made him happy.”
Huskins says Drake and Jill are what drove Eric to get out of bed every day and work, he was their provider and protector.
“Heartbreaking, unbelievable loss,” he said.
Eric was killed in front of the Cedar Ridge Landfill where Huskins says he worked as a site manager for Waste Management.
Barlow was described as a giant man in stature with a personality to match.
“The only thing bigger than Eric Barlow was his heart,” explained Huskins who is also Drake Godfather.
Timo Bennett has known Eric for 40 years.
“He was bigger than life, never met a stranger,” Bennett told News 2.
As tragic as Eric’s death is, his friends aren’t surprised by his actions.
“That’s just the type of man that Eric was. He wanted to help everyone, he never met a stranger and he was loved by everyone. I don’t think Eric had any enemies. If you met him you would love him and you would never forget him, the same thing with Drake,” said Huskins.
While it may not have soaked in yet to Drake that his daddy is gone, much of the small community in Lewisburg is scarred by the tragedy.
“The world is hurting today being without Eric Barlow,” said Bennett.
Funeral services are set for Sunday for Eric Barlow at Church Street Church of Christ in Lewisburg.
Instead of flowers, a fund has been set up to help with Drake’s expenses, as he is awaiting a heart transplant.
Donations can be made at United Community Bank, Attn: Drake Barlow Account, PO Box 1330, Robbinsville, NC 28771.
Two more pedestrians were also hit by the dump truck. Police say Michael Feagin was transported to Vanderbilt Medical Center, he has since been released, and Roberto Garcia was treated at the scene.
No charges have been filed at this time as the investigation is ongoing.
TOSHA will conduct a full workplace fatality investigation.