Spirit Ride set for Saturday in Racine

RACINE — Slow Down, Move over is the message that a casket honoring first responders will carry on Saturday when the Spirit Ride moves through Racine this Saturday.

American Towman Magazine co-founded the venture, wanting to highlight the danger that first responders, including tow operators, face each time they respond to a 911 call. Approximately 60percent of those who are killed while responding to roadside incidents are tow operators.

Every state in the Union has a move over, slow down law on the books, requiring motorists to move into the next lane when it is safe to do so while passing an incident where emergency responders, firefighters, tow operators, and police are present while emergency lights are flashing. However, many do not know about the law, or overlook it while driving, which presents a very real danger to emergency responders.

When the American Towman Spirit Ride comes through Racine, it will be led by the Racine Service Center carrying a ceremonial casket built for the relay. The casket was built to pay tribute to tow operators and other emergency responders who are killed by passing vehicles who did not move over. The casket itself is named Spirit, and was custom painted by artist Cecil Burrowes, who specializes in painting intricate designs on trucks and wreckers. The scenes depicted on Spirit are of first responders at the scenes of highway incidents. One of those scenes portrays a tow operator carrying the world upon his shoulders while cars go by.

The casket was built by Mike Corbin, a singer/songwriter who also composed the Spirit Ride’s anthem, Booms in the Sky. Corbin will perform this song and another, Bless the Spirit Riders, to honor first responders at a ceremony at the Racine Service Center Impound Lot.

The ceremony begins at 11 a.m. on Saturday, Sept. 9, and will be followed by a procession of emergency vehicles, led by the Racine Service Center. The public is invited to attend the ceremony and procession.

For more information on the Spirit Ride, please visit the ride’s website, ATSpiritRide.com or call the Racine Service Center at 740-949-2700.

A portion of the information for this article was provided by Spirit Ride.

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By Jessica Marcum

Special to the Sentinel

Jessica Marcum is a freelance writer for The Daily Sentinel.