CHESTERFIELD COUNTY, Va. — A tractor-trailer driver spotted a car driving erratically on a busy Central Virginia highway last month and chose to put his own life in danger to save others on the road.
Corey Parker said he first noticed the Lexus sedan traveling recklessly from lane to lane in Ashland on June 21.
“They just kept smacking the barrier. At one point, it was like a movie scene. The tires were on the barrier and tires were on the ground,” he explained.
The North Carolina native followed the car from Ashland onto the Chippenham Parkway in Chesterfield. He blasted his horn and attempted to slow down traffic to warn drivers of the erratic driver.
Parker feared the driver would crash into a car full of innocent people. So, he used his big rig to slow the vehicle to a stop against a jersey wall.
At first, he thought the driver was experiencing a medical issue like a seizure.
“I went over to the driver, and I opened the door and that's when I saw everything in his lap,” he recalled. “He had Narcan pens in his lap.”
Virginia State Police said they responded to the scene on Chippenham Highway near Strathmore Road around 8 p.m.
“A green 2006 Lexus GS 300, driven by Antonio Hawkins, 32, of Richmond, had been seen all over the road by witnesses before running off the road to the left and striking a guard rail,” according to an email from Sgt. Jessica Shehan.
Troopers on the scene noticed that both the driver and the passenger, a 28-year-old man from Richmond, were passed out and unresponsive. They immediately rendered aid, detectives said.
Chesterfield EMS and police on scene administered Narcan and they regained consciousness. Naloxone or Narcan is used to reverse the effects of a drug overdose.
The driver was checked out by EMS on scene and refused further medical treatment. The passenger was transported to Chippenham Hospital and was discharged, VSP said.
Hawkins was charged with driving under the influence of drugs, driving while being revoked DUI related and having a controlled substance. The passenger was charged with being in possession of a controlled substance and drunk in public.
VSP said the June 21 crash is still under investigation.
Parker knows firsthand how drugs can impact and takeover your life for the worse.
He spent six years in jail due to his decisions while addicted. Parker has since recovered and owns his own trucking business, property, a home, and is now married.
The 30-year-old now speaks about his experiences with inmates and youth to help steer them in the right direction.
“You're a product of your environment. So, if I put myself back in that environment, where the drugs and everything was, I'm going to be enticed to do them and sell them,” Parker stated. “Go to a halfway house and leave, and don't come back. That's what I had to do. I left and didn't come back.”
This article was written by Brendan King for WTVR.