BY RAY VAN COR
The Greenville Standard
Friday evening the Wendell Mitchell Conference Center at Lurleen B. Wallace Community College in Greenville played host to over 200 first responders, family and friends of Gene Lee Schofield Jr.
Gene Lee Schofield Jr. was the wrecker operator that was struck and killed at Mile post 123 on Interstate 65 by an intoxicated driver that failed to move over on March 23, 2013.
His death initiated the law changes in Alabama which was championed by his family and House Representative Chris Sells.
The Gene Lee Schofield Jr. Memorial mile was proclaimed by both houses of the legislature and signed into effect by Governor Kay Ivey on May 29, of this year, followed by the legislature re-enforcing the Move Over Law with stiffer penalties.
Though an elegant evening affair, the unveiling brought mixed feelings among the crowd. However, the evenings’ event included both Sells and Alabama State Trooper Sergeant Steve Jarret receiving recognition awards for their support and vital roles they played in changing the law.
Sells introduced the two bills to the legislature which passed and Jarret helped organize the public service announcements.
Anna Findley, Schofield’s sister, said, “The estimated cost for the signage would come to around $4,000 dollars and once the signs were paid for, fabrication and completion would be late August or early September according to the Alabama Department of Transportation.
“I want to put yellow ribbons around them once they’re up. Tonight’s event will be the culmination of many years struggle to rectify things and bring some closure for our family but there’s still more to come.
“We want my brother to be remembered and hopefully every first responder will recognize that there are those who will always champion them. Our family would like to thank all our sponsors for tonight’s event and those who donated for everything they’ve done.”
The alleged offender in Schofield’s Death has yet to be brought to trial.