Family fights to educate drivers after 18-year-old tow truck driver killed on highway

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- It's been one year since Blake Gresham's death.

The 18-year-old tow truck driver was hit and killed while he was pulled over on the side of the road helping a motorist.

Area tow truck drivers tried to remember him in a fitting way Tuesday. They gathered at Richard L. Berkley Riverfront Park and flipped on their lights. Organizers said about 200 tow trucks were there at the peak of the event.

"We've been through a lot; it's been very hard," said Amy Gresham, Blake's mother.

Blake was pulled over on the Bond Bridge to help someone with a flat tire. He was hit and killed by a driver in a truck.

"This is all that he's ever wanted to do. I mean when he was in kindergarten he had made his own little business card for his dad," Amy said. "This is just something that he wanted to do."

According to Blake's family's lawyer, Rob Sullivan, tow trucks fall under Missouri's Move Over Law. He said drivers either need to move over or slow down when they see a tow truck on the side of the road. That didn't happen in Blake's case.

"Nobody was cited, nobody was prosecuted, and I can't really comment on why other than to say that's the prosecutor's office's decision," Sullivan said.

The family has filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the driver and his company, Lansing Building Products. But mostly, Blake's family said they are putting their energy into educating other drivers.

"There's not enough awareness out there that people need to be aware," Gresham said. "They have got to move over for these guys to work. As long as there are cars, there's going to be tow trucks."

A Jackson County Prosecutor's Office spokesperson said they actually reviewed the case twice earlier this year. Mike Mansur said the first time was in January. He said then they had an independent review from people outside of the office. Mansur said both times they decided the office couldn't file charges based on the evidence.

FOX 4 also called the attorney representing the company but did not hear back.

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