In January of 2006 Tommy Campbell, an employee of Duck River Electric Membership Corporation, was struck by a vehicle in Decherd, Tennessee. The utility truck Campbell was driving had a mechanical failure and was pulled off the road near an adjacent parking lot. Another employee thought he might fix the problem, and he asked Tommy to retrieve a tool from the driver’s side tool bin. Tommy exited the truck from the driver’s side position and opened the truck bin door to retrieve the tool. Without warning, he was struck by an oncoming car. Tommy was thrown onto the hood and windshield of the car and then up into the air. He landed on his back in the middle of the road. Tommy knew he had severe damage to his left foot, and he crawled to safety on the side of the road.
The driver of the car was speeding as he ran off the road on the opposite side of the Campbell’s truck. He overcompensated and struck Tommy and the DREMC truck.
Tommy was a journeyman lineman for DREMC at the time with 5 years of service. The accident required major surgery to his left ankle and foot, including 4 pins, 2 screws and a 6 inch rod. Tommy missed 118 days of work due to the accident. “I was very concerned about being able to continue line work. I knew my foot was severely injured,” said Campbell. “Line work has been in my family for years. My dad was a lineman. That’s what I loved doing. “
Campbell’s thoughts on the expansion of the Move Over law: “It is a great law for utilities. We’ve just got to get the word out and make the public aware. Drivers need to slow down when approaching work vehicles positioned on the side of the road.”
Through much pain and therapy, Campbell was able to return to restricted duty in May of 2006. Approximately one year later he had healed enough and, with much determination, began climbing poles again.