Portland community unveils sign to remember Nicolas Townsend-Read

TENNESSEAN  | Matthew Diggs
The local community came out to support the unveiling ceremony for a Memorial Sign in Honor of Nicolas Townsend-Read at the Richland Gym in Portland on Saturday, Feb. 24.(Photo: Matthew Diggs / For the Tennessean Sumner)
Family, friends and community supporters came together alongside Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) Tennessee and the Tennessee Department of Transportation to honor the memory of Nicolas Townsend-Read by unveiling a sign that serves to remind the public that impaired driving costs innocent lives. The public event dedicating the sign on Highway 52 was held at the Richland Park Gym in Portland on Saturday, Feb. 24.

On the eve of his graduation, after a day of volunteering for the Special Olympics in May of 2015, Portland High School senior Townsend-Read was traveling in a vehicle that was struck head-on by a drunk driver. Townsend-Read passed away two days later on May 17. He had plans to fulfill his dream of being a part of the military and then one day becoming a local Portland Police Officer.

Townsend-Read’s mother, Tanya Read, spoke before the sign was unveiled to share the importance of always being sober and focused behind the wheel.

“I hope the sign serves as a reminder to be smart behind the wheel. Put down your cell phone, don’t drive impaired and always have a plan.” Tanya Read said. “I don’t want any other family to go through this. This is how we honor him, and how we carry on his legacy.” Continue reading

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