Father hit, killed on I-40: ‘I know where I’m going to go’

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MEMPHIS, Tenn. -- “He was my hero. He was the epitome of what a father should be, like he was a dad to everybody.”

Stephanie Gatewood still can’t believe her father, Scott Gatewood, was hit and killed in the middle of I-40 near the Chelsea exit.

His death comes as a shock especially after a message he sent his daughter last week.

“He sent me a text last week and it's ironic because he said, 'If I was hit by a car today, then I know where I'm going to go,'" she said.

Police said the 67-year-old's car got stuck in the mud. His family thinks he was disoriented and trying to look for help when he was killed.

gatewood-2Gatewood was a church deacon at Bellevue Baptist Frayser and a Vietnam veteran.

"He came to church every time we had the doors open," said Airton Santos, campus administrator at Bellevue Frayser.

He was also known to mentor people in the community, whether that was through faith or their dress code.

“He would tell a little boy that's walking down the street, 'Man pull them pants up,'" said his daughter.

Stephanie said her dad was joyful, full of life and caring.  He taught her to always treat people better than you expect to be treated.

“He loved his family, he loved helping," she said. "My father was the first person I learned public service from.”

Stephanie keeps that service going as a school assistant principal and former Memphis City Schools board member.

Now she and all who loved Scott hold onto their faith, just as he would.

"I know it'll be difficult not to see him around, but the hope is we'll see him one day in heaven," said Santos.

The driver who hit Gatewood is not going to be charged in this crash.