Rutherford County family campaigns to reduce speed limits after son struck and killed last Halloween

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RUTHERFORD COUNTY, Tenn. (WKRN) — Almost one year ago, a driver hit and killed 13-year old Nate Isbell as he was skateboarding on Powell’s Chapel Road in Rutherford County.

This Halloween, his parents, Chuck Isbell and Janeesa Perkins, are urging people to slow down when driving through residential neighborhoods.

“Some days it seems like yesterday, and some days it seems like 100 years. When I think about him it doesn’t seem real,” Isbell said.

Perkins said she misses her son’s laughter, energy and presence.

Over the past year, Nate’s parents have advocated to lower neighborhood speed limits. In June, the Rutherford County Board of Commissioners passed a resolution asking people to drive 25 miles per hour or slower on Halloween night on residential roads.

To remind people, Isbell and Perkins are passing out brightly colored signs across Rutherford County that say, “To keep a kid alive, drive 25.” At the bottom, they say “in memory of Nate Isbell.”

“I just really want people to become aware when they’re driving. I think we forget that we are literally driving lethal weapons and that a car is just as dangerous as a grenade or a bomb. I mean, it can kill,” Perkins said.

His parents say Nate’s death was preventable and should serve as a prudent reminder to pay attention behind the wheel.

“It doesn’t take a lot to just slow down. It may just add 30 seconds to your travel time but just slow down and be aware of your surroundings so this doesn’t happen to someone else,” Perkins said.

Nate’s parents are continuing their campaign for safer roads beyond Halloween and have launched a petition to make the speed limit on all residential streets in Rutherford County 25 miles per hour everyday — not just on Halloween.

To view or sign the petition being organized by Walk Bike Nashville, click HERE.

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