(Memphis) A warning tonight for all drivers: ignoring signs and driving down roads closed to the public can be deadly.
The Tennessee Highway Patrol says that’s how a Shelby County Deputy died — by driving down a closed portion of Highway 385.
Authorities say he took the risk to get to work quicker.
Deputy Torrance Suggs’ decision left a wife and two children without a father.
It’s believed Deputy Suggs went around clearly-marked barricades in Collierville on Highway 57 so he could get on part of Highway 385 that is still under construction.
The Tennessee Highway Patrol says Suggs drove head-on into a construction trailer parked on Highway 385 overnight.
Investigators say Suggs was using the nine mile stretch of unfinished highway to shave off about 20 minutes from his drive-time to his substation in Arlington.
The two-lane highway at night is pitch black, with no lights.
“You never know. It could be ditches, anything. It’s very hazardous. If there is a barricade up, you shouldn’t go through it,” said Derek Wood, a concrete pumper.
We caught up with a couple of concrete workers who know the importance of barricades, not just for the safety of drivers but for them, on the job.
“If it was me and my personal vehicle, I wouldn’t even take that chance,” said Wyatt, another concrete pumper.
The Shelby County Sheriff’s Office says Suggs was driving his own car on his way to his night shift.
His short cut, cut his life short in an instant.
“You got to think more about stuff before you do it,” said Wood.
TDOT says Suggs was close to being able to use the road legally.
Its opening day is scheduled for the end of November.
The Shelby County Sheriff’s Office didn’t have anything to say about one of their own driving illegally to work, only that they are grieving his loss.