Local tow truck companies and RCMP are raising concerns after an operator was sent to hospital in a crash Saturday night. The Flynn’s Towing employee was loading a vehicle onto a flat deck on the shoulder of Highway 49 and Township Road 720 north of Valleyview around 8 p.m.
An SUV passing the scene then hit the tow truck, drove up its deck ramp, and hit the vehicle it was carrying. The tow truck operator was was taken to hospital with non-life threatening injuries, while the three people in the SUV weren’t hurt.
In a public Facebook post, a man who has identified himself as the operator says he’s still confused about what happened, but grateful to have not suffered any serious injuries.
“There needs to be more awareness of Slow Down and Move Over !! Please share this. There is no need for close calls like this at all.”
The driver of the SUV has since been charged for driving carelessly. Their actions have also prompted a reminder about the need for traffic to slow down and move over if possible when passing emergency vehicles.
“ALL tow operators live through this day in and day out, knowing the risk, but choosing to help those stranded on the side of the road,” Flynn’s Towing adds in a Facebook post. “We’ve all seen the posts ‘Slow down, move over’, but people still choose to ignore them. Endangering the lives of many men and women out there! So we beg everyone out there…when you see ANY lights flashing please slow down and move over! These people have families they want to get home to, just like you and I!!!”
The Traffic Safety Act requires drivers to reduce their speed to 60 kilometres an hour, or the posted speed limit if it’s lower, when passing vehicles with their lights flashing. The rule also applies to the next lane over from the stopped vehicles, and the fine for speeding in that area is doubled.