Instead of celebrating his 26th birthday on January 15, 2018, family and friends gathered for a ceremony to unveil a Memorial Sign in his honor. Jacob Akers was killed on July 7, 2014, just three days after proposing to his long-time girlfriend and a month before starting medical school. He had been hit head-on by a drugged driver who crossed the center lane of Hwy 49 near Charlotte in Dickson County going over 100mph. The driver was convicted of Vehicular Homicide by Driver Intoxication and sentenced to 12 years in prison in June of 2017.
Jacob and his fiance, Savannah, should have gotten married in 2016 as they planned, and Jacob should have graduated from medical school this year. But instead, his sign will stand at the crash site as a reminder of the life-changing consequences of impaired driving and as a warning to others to make better choices to avoid this 100% preventable tragedy.
MADD was honored to join friends and family at the ceremony where Jacob’s mother, Carol, shared his story. Because it would have been unsafe for a gathering at the actual crash location, Charlotte’s Mayor gladly offered an alternative location in town where the family could host a reception with birthday cake after the ceremony. The Tennessee Department of Transportation also provided a smaller version of the sign for the ceremony.