"Eric's Law" requires helping people in trouble

By  | 

BLOUNT COUNTY, Tenn. (WVLT) -- There's a family in Blount County who's trying to turn their tragedy into triumph.

Local 8 News Anchor Lauren Davis spoke to Eric Ashby's family about the inspiration behind a law they're trying to pass called Eric's Law.

Eric Ashby moved from Blount County to Colorado a year and a half ago. Eric's dad, Paul Ashby, said Eric moved across the country to start a whole new life.

Family members said Eric loved the river. But, it's his love for the water that ultimately ended his life.

"He was trying to cross the Arkansas River. It was class five water, and he was not doing it with the right equipment," Eric's father explained.

Eric went under the water and never resurfaced.

Paul Ashby claims Eric's friends bailed while his son was drowning. Paul painfully reflected that Eric's friends didn't even manage to call 911.

Eric's dad decided to turn his pain into a change. Paul started a petition to get new legislation passed in Tennessee.

Eric's Law states that people must call for help if they see someone fighting for their life.

"This law simply says you have to do something. You can't just walk away," Paul told Local 8 News.

Shawn Carter, a Blount County Commissioner said he supports the legislation's mission.

"It's a law of morality I believe," Carter said.

Carter explained that he believes this law is needed in a day and age where people take videos and pictures on cell phones and post to social media first.

"It's a common sense bill. I believe it will go through and once we legislate it through the house, I think it will pass," Carter said.

Paul knows the proposed law will never bring his son back, but he's hoping this legislation will help save someones life in the future.

The Blount County Commission will vote this Thursday on the measure.

A petition was formed for the cause that can be found here.