Nashville City Council Calls For Increased Safety Measures Following Riley Strain’s Death

Brian Spurlock/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Following the tragic death of 22-year-old Riley Strain in downtown Nashville, the metro city council is requesting changes to increase the safety of the area.

Riley Strain went missing on March 8th after being kicked out of Luke Bryan’s bar on Broadway in downtown Nashville. The Mizzou student was in town for a fraternity formal. He told his friends that he would return to their hotel on his own but never arrived.

Surveillance footage and witness reports revealed that Strain left Broadway and wandered down First Avenue, which runs parallel to the Cumberland River. Video from nearby businesses showed the young man stumbling and looking disoriented as he walked down the sidewalk. His cell phone last pinged less than a mile from the bar, between Gay Street and James Robertson Parkway.

via Metro Police Nashville

Tragically, Riley Strain was found deceased in the Cumberland River after an extensive two-week search that involved local law enforcement, the United Cajun Navy, Strain’s family, and local volunteers.

On the morning of March 22nd, workers clearing debris from the river approximately eight miles from downtown Nashville found the body of Riley Strain. The initial autopsy showed no signs of foul play but also revealed that there was no water in Riley’s lungs, as would be the case if he had drowned. This caused the family to doubt that Riley’s death was purely accidental and believe that perhaps someone “helped him into the water.

Riley Strain’s toxicology report was recently completed, and although the results were not made public, it was revealed that the family retained the high-profile law firm, Morgan and Morgan. Local reporter Nick Beres speculated that they may be considering a wrongful death lawsuit.

(Left) NewsNation / YouTube / (Right) Arkansas Justice Project / Facebook

New safety precautions have been proposed in downtown Nashville.

This week, the Nashville City Council unanimously approved a resolution requesting that the Metro Government provide a “comprehensive analysis of recommended changes to increase the safety, security, housing resources for the unhoused, and cleanliness of the properties surrounding the Cumberland River within the downtown interstate loop.”

The analysis will consider lighting, fences, and “safe access points” around hazardous areas to “prevent future tragic incidents from occurring.”

via NewsNation 

Nashville Mayor Freddie O’Connell had previously suggested that barriers along the banks of the river could be a potential option for increasing the safety of those traversing the area. He said:

“I’ve walked this stretch for decades, and I could certainly imagine there being barriers that made it harder to get from the sidewalk into the areas of growth that are right there along the riverbank. You know, I would say also just helping people with the basics of wayfinding.”

Metro Nashville Council Member Jacob Kupin shared that he has spoken regularly with the Nashville Department of Transportation (NDOT) and Metro Nashville Parks regarding safety improvements. He shared:

“It became apparent through Riley’s disappearance that there were sections of that area that maybe had some blind spots or there were different entities that controlled different cameras.”

Kupin says that the ultimate goal is to transform the area along the river to not only be safe, but also enjoyable in the years to come.


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