VANCOUVER, Wash. — Dan Carroll has had a lot of close calls working on the side of the road as a tow truck driver for Chappelle's Towing in Vancouver.
"I've never been hit thankfully. I've had to jump out of the main source of traffic quickly," said Carroll.
He's not alone.
Kelly Just, a spokesperson for AAA Washington, said these kind of accidents are becoming increasingly common. She said four different tow truck drivers have been struck since December.
"One of them was injured slightly, one had to get his leg amputated and two were killed," said Just.
Tow truck driver Art Anderson, owner of Affordable Towing, and the parents of the driver he was helping were struck and killed along Interstate 5 near Kelso in April. Then last month, Raymond Mitchell with TLC Towing was struck and killed while he was helping a customer on I-5 near Kalama.
Just with AAA Washington said the crashes are all preventable. The agency has teamed up with tow companies for a public service announcement with a message for drivers to obey the state's "Move Over Law." The law requires motorists to move over one lane or slow down when approaching any motor vehicle that is stopped for an emergency.
"People may not be aware that a tow truck working on the side of the road is considered an emergency vehicle," explained Just, "and they need just as much room as emergency responders, as police, fire and road constructions."
As someone who's encountered too many close calls in his career, Carroll hopes drivers take this message to heart.
"All we do out there is at least get you guys home, off the road and hearing that we, some of us can't make it home to our loved ones is sad."