NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — A road rage victim's family said more needs to happen after the Metro Nashville Police Department announced a plan to curb aggressive driving.
It's evident from photos that Jason Sparks loved his brother, Chris.
"He was the greatest uncle in the world, and he literally came here just to spend time with us and be close with us," Sparks said.
Chris' dog, Dawson, was his world.
On Sept. 28 at lunchtime, Chris left work to let his dog out. That's when he got into an argument with a driver. Then, shots were fired in the Buchanan Street and Ed Temple Boulevard area.
"We found out he’d been shot, and I immediately start texting him like please make this a joke? Because I always thought he’d pull an Andy Kaufman and fake his own death just for comedy,” Sparks said. “But he had been shot, and the next day we had to go to the morgue and identify a picture of his body, and that was the toughest thing."
The shooter got away, and ever since, Jason Sparks has fought for tougher penalties in road rage cases.
"Unfortunately, this is just going to keep happening," Sparks said.
Following an influx of incidents, Metro Police just launched an 'aggressive driving unit'to patrol Interstate 24. The traffic division is working with precincts on a plan.
"I don’t think it’s just having cars on the road. I think it’s having a coordinated dedicated like team or agency that can direct people out there," Sparks said.
His surviving brother said he believed a road rage hotline could help curb crime too.
"There needs to be repercussions, and there needs to be more enforcement," he said.
Taking a deeper look at the statistics, 66% of traffic fatalities are caused by aggressive driving, according to the Safe Motorist website.
In addition, 37% of those incidents involve a firearm. According to the Department of Safety & Homeland Security, there have already been 82 road rage-related crashes in 2022 in Tennessee.
Sparks wants his brother, Chris, to be more than a statistic. He hopes the real change will come in how road rage cases are handled.
"You hear about all these unsolved murders, and it’s heartbreaking," Sparks said.
Ironically, the same day Chris died in 2016, another driver was shot and killed. Ryan Trent was found dead in his car on Briley Parkway.
That's two cases, on the same day, with no arrests.
For those who have any information, call Metro Police.