Memorial for Knoxville college student killed in car wreck promp

Memorial for Knoxville college student killed in car wreck prompts possible road changes

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At the memorial, Le's loved ones shared their best memories of him, saying he was incredibly caring, creative and was always thinking of others. At the memorial, Le's loved ones shared their best memories of him, saying he was incredibly caring, creative and was always thinking of others.
They met at the Hardin Valley exit ramp off Pellissippi Parkway, the exact spot where Le was killed, not only to remember his life but to also lobby for change. They met at the Hardin Valley exit ramp off Pellissippi Parkway, the exact spot where Le was killed, not only to remember his life but to also lobby for change.

By HAYLEY HARMON
6 News Anchor/Reporter

KNOXVILLE (WATE) - It's been one year since a Knoxville college student was killed in a car wreck on his way to class.

Friends and family gathered Sunday to remember 21-year-old Tony Le of Knoxville, a student at Pellissippi State.

They met at the Hardin Valley exit ramp off Pellissippi Parkway, the exact spot where Le was killed, not only to remember his life but to also lobby for change.

At the memorial, Le's loved ones shared their best memories of him, saying he was incredibly caring, creative and was always thinking of others.

"He was able to connect to a lot of people in a lot of different ways," said Matthew Meador of Knoxville, Le's former roommate.

"It doesn't matter how down you are about anything. He always did anything to make you smile or laugh just to make you feel better," said friend Tatiana Alexander of Knoxville.

They laid down flowers in his honor, and planted a wooden cross with his name on it, to make sure he is never forgotten.

"It makes me cry. People usually have to drive me this way because I get so upset," said Alexander.

But Le's family says the greatest that could be made in his honor could be changes to the stretch of road where he died.

They say it's very dangerous, and they don't want any other lives to be lost.

Le was exiting the parkway onto Hardin Valley Road on Feb. 23, 2012, when his car veered into the oncoming lane and was t-boned by a truck.

His family wants changes made to the ramp, because just last week, a three-car accident in the same spot injured six people, trapping one inside a car.

His friends and family say the exit ramp curves too sharply, making it hard to maneuver for drivers coming off the parkway, potentially putting them in the path of drivers trying to get onto the parkway.

They say that's exactly what happened to Le.

"This in itself should be enough for them to change, like put an extra stop light when people come or widen it. Anything would probably help," said Alexander.

Le's family wants to protect other drivers, something they say he would have wanted too.

"If it starts with one person, it could go on to other people," said Matthew.

6 News spoke with the Tennessee Department of Transportation to find out if they were looking into any possible changes at that intersection.

TDOT says their traffic safety officials will examine any stretch of road where there are safety concerns, and will take accident history into account.

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