AUSTIN, Texas - Every six days a tow truck driver will be killed on the job according to the Emergency Responder Institute.
The widow of a tow truck driver killed in Killeen in May wants to make sure all drivers know it is the law for drivers to move over for tow truck drivers.
Jerry Doyle is an Austin tow truck driver and also wants driver to be more careful, "When I was in South Austin picking up a collision one night a drunk driver came along and hit me in between the wrecker and the car, knocked me up into a yard." He had been driving a tow truck for 45 years and said everyday there has been some sort of close call.
"It's all the time, you've got to really watch what's going on out there, because they will hit you, you don't know if they are going to fall asleep or if they're drunk, they'll come over and knock you down." He said while every tow truck has to be equipped with flashing lights, sometimes those lights can't be seen.
"That top light, that beacon is flashing, is totally covered up by that truck, you can't see me from back there."
Making an already unsafe job, even more dangerous. That's why he and many other tow truck drivers want drivers to know, it's the law, move over. "They’re supposed to slow down or move over, and some of them don't do either one, that's the ones you've got to watch," Doyle said.
At the end of May a funeral procession with more than 90 tow trucks was held for one of his fellow brothers in Killeen.
Scott Bowles was killed on the highway while working. Fox 7 spoke with his wife who is also a tow truck driver.
“It's hard. We have three boys, they miss their dad, I miss my husband, every day is a struggle," Stephanie Bowles said. As a tow truck driver she said they are helping people at some of their worst times. She's asking drivers to have courtesy for them while they are trying to help. "Anytime you see a tow truck, TxDOT, fire, EMS, ambulance those are emergency vehicles and people they need to slow down and move over.
Our lives are in danger every time you speed by." She said those few minutes you may be saving are not worth someone's life.
"Speeding down the highway and just moving over to a vacant lane or 20 mph below the posted speed limit is not going to hurt anybody's time frame there." she said.
The move over law in Texas includes police, emergency and fire responders, TxDOT workers and tow truck drivers. If you fail to move over you could face a fine of up to $200.