Highway Dedicated to Honor Late Husband and Camden City Worker

Cyndi Lundeberg

CAMDEN, Tenn. - A stretch of Highway 70 in Benton County has been marked by tragedy and loss for the past year, but now has a new memory.

The area of Highway 70 near Bird Song Road is where Matthew Draper, 29, lost his life. On June 15, 2012, Draper was hit by Danny Rains while on his way home for work. Rains was charged with driving under the influence. It was his second DUI. Rains was sentenced to nine years probation and nine months in Benton County jail.

"Is it time for us to move on? Yes. But no I don't think justice was served," close friend of Draper Jeff Pierce said.

Rachel McGuire had been married to draper for just 8 months to the day when her husband was killed.

"It was singly the worst moment of my life," McGuire said.

McGuire said she was honored Benton County officials chose to memorialize Draper and preserve his memory.

"It's really hard to drive by there, just to think about it is hard," McGuire said. "But to know there's going to be that permanent reminder of him kind of makes it easier."

Draper's loved ones said nothing will ever truly heal the pain they feel and hopes renaming the highway will serve as a reminder to others who consider drinking and driving.

"I just wish he was back here, that's all I wish for," Pierce said. "I just miss him."

Draper's wife said she could not think of a better way to honor her late husband.

"It touches me to know people love Matthew that much. That's a huge honor and I couldn't be prouder of him."


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