HENRICO COUNTY, Va. (WRIC) — A local towing company is reiterating pleas for protection under the statewide ‘Move Over’ law after a tow truck driver was struck on Interstate-95.
Troopers are calling the incident that happened around 5:20 p.m. at northbound I-95, north of Parham Road, a hit-and-run. One tow-truck driver was critically injured.
According to police, the tow-truck driver was assisting a disabled RV on the right shoulder when he was struck by a vehicle. The vehicle did not stop, and may have continued northbound I-95 or took the exit to I-295.
The tow-truck driver was transported to the hospital for treatment of life-threatening injuries.
Saturday’s incident is once again bringing into question the safety and protection of tow truck drivers. In February, 8News spoke with a tow truck driver who says he puts his life on the line when responding to crashes. Yet the statewide ‘Move Over’ law that protects first responders and police officers excludes tow truck drivers.
“We are this close to death every time we are on the side of the road loading somebodies car and it’s very, very disturbing,” said Bruce Eagle, of Eagle Towing.
He says drivers have to start looking out and moving over for tow truck drivers the same way they do emergency crews because incidents continue to happen.
“Give us that extra lane of protection,” Eagle said. “You wouldn’t want a 70 mile per an hour vehicle passing your desk, inches from your chair. Please, give us the room; slow down and move over.”
8News learned that Saturday’s incident was the second time tow truck drivers were involved in crashes this past week. Eagles recalled that one of his drivers has been grazed by a vehicle before while towing.
“It’s very concerning for my guys that work here every day and every night,” Eagle said. “It is
a scary scenario that happens more than the general public knows.”
It’s why he’s asking for lawmakers to step in.
“The stiffer penalties for the slow down, move over law that we were excluded from
this session of the general assembly by our legislators, that needs to be put back in for amber lights for towing and for VDOT workers that’s a start,” Eagle added.
But he also says drivers being aware of these laws, and paying attention to the road instead of things in their car will truly make the difference.
“Please, make us safe, help us feel safer and move over,” Eagle said.
Virginia State Police Crash Reconstruction team and the Bureau of Criminal Investigations Richmond Field office continues to investigate.
Police asks anyone with any information pertaining to this incident to contact (804)553-3445 or #77 on a cell phone or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.