Tag Archives: kiihnl

Origin of the ‘Drowsy Driver’ Highway Message Board

After 10 years of asking drowsy drivers to get off the road, Kathi Wright of Cordova saw her message flash across Tennessee interstate message boards last week, reports the Commercial Appeal..
“Please, Don’t Drive Drowsy,” the state has joined her family in asking drivers on highways in Memphis, Nashville, Chattanooga and Knoxville.
The local story behind the new message is of Kyle Kiihnl, a 17-year-old at Houston High School who was killed by a somnolent student driver on May 5, 2002.
“After 10 years it was like: Now there’s a reason,” said Wright of her nephew’s death. “It has been so emotional because somebody finally took us seriously. If we save just one person who pulled over and slept — well, that’s the reason we’ve kept going.”
Kyle had been out about midnight, walking with a friend in Germantown near Farmington Boulevard and Allenby. A teenage driver coming home from the Beale Street Music Festival fell asleep at the wheel, and, according to witnesses, his tires met the sidewalk.
Kyle, then a junior, died on the scene. His friend came away with a broken thumb.