On January 28, 2018, K&S Towing driver, Michael House died after being struck by a driver in the eastbound lanes of the Schuylkill Expressway. Every year, about 50 to 60 tow truck operators are killed on the sides of streets and highways by drivers who are distracted, inebriated and otherwise disobeying mandatory Move Over Laws that have been enacted across the US.
At K&S Towing, we did not suddenly discover that this job is dangerous the night that Mike was killed. Nor, did we begin taking safety seriously the very next day. In fact, we have always put safety first for our drivers, our customers, other first responders on the scenes of accidents — everyone.
We’ve seen the results of unsafe driving behavior every single day now for decades. To most people, an accident or a disabled vehicle is an inconvenience. It’s a 15 minute delay on the way to work. It’s being late for a meeting. To us, it not only represents our livelihood, but also a commitment to best serve those directly affected in times of need, as well as the many folks we’ve known for years who serve as police, fire and EMT personnel.
The results of accidents and unsafe driving are not temporary to tow operators–they are constant. There is always another call waiting. There is another mother waiting on the side of a dark road in need of spare tire change, a student in need of a jump or any number of people in any range of conditions waiting for help at the scene of a vehicle accident. It’s 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. We go to sleep with it and wake up with it. We tow it, jump it, sweep it up and never fail to recognize the human element of how we affect those we serve and the feeling we get from the opportunity to do so.
What can you do?
All that said, all we ask is for you to move over when you see our lights, or the lights of a police car, fire truck or ambulance. Someone’s dad on the side of the road helping someone’s daughter. Someone’s brother is changing a tire for a mother of three.
It’s been a year since we lost Mike. We think of him every day. And though losing Mike brought us together as a family and offered a chance to see the best from a lot of people in the tow community, we would prefer to never go through any of it again. On behalf of all of us at K&S Towing, tow operators all over the US and most of all, Michael House’s wife and two beautiful kids, please Move Over. It’s not only the law, but you may save someone’s life.