CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- A Charlotte woman is putting the spotlight on a scary problem drivers face on the roads. It’s a problem that can lead to horrific crashes.
This crash in particular was caused by a truck driver who police say fell asleep at the wheel. Statistics show 28 percent of truckers on the road are fatigued. After losing her husband, Dana Johnson says something needs to be done.
Johnson stood before a small crowd Saturday night to deliver a big message.
Stoically, she recalled the night her husband, Shawn Johnson, lost his life on I-85 at the hands of a tired trucker.
On July 30, Shawn was driving near Greenville, South Carolina when a trucker named Eddie Wyatt fell asleep at the wheel.
"He crossed over the median and hit my husband head on and killed him," Dana told the told the crowd.
Within seconds and without warning, Shawn became one of the roughly 5,200 people killed on our nation's highways each year because of fatigue, often linked back to a disease called sleep apnea.
“They're putting everybody's life, even their own at risk when they are out there driving," said Dana.
The “they" Dana is talking about are the 1 in 3 drivers and the 28 percent of commercial drivers that get behind the wheel when they are tired.
Sleep apnea causes the airways to collapse when you're asleep; it happens hundreds of times in a sleep cycle and causes the body to snap awake.
That restlessness boils over into daytime drowsiness and sudden nodding off, sometimes it happens while driving.
Eddie Saavedre owns the trucking company Shawn was driving for. Saturday he asked the government to do something.
“It's something I think the DMV or the DOT has to be involved in and address it for everybody,” said Saavedre.
"My goal is to get some laws changed, so this doesn't happen again," said Dana.