AUSTIN, Texas - After a recent outbreak of fatality and injury incidents involving tow truck drivers and other first responders, Texas motorists are asked to slow down or move over for stopped emergency vehicles including tow trucks, police cars and fire trucks.
“Our tow truck licensees work hard every day to help people who are stranded on the side of the road. And, like everyone else, they are anxious to return home safely each night,” said Brian E. Francis, executive director for the Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation. “Please obey state law and slow down or move over when you see emergency vehicles stopped on the side of the road.”
In the past few months, at least three Texas tow truck drivers and a towing customer have been struck and killed while on the side of the road. That statistic doesn’t include several Texas police officers who have been seriously injured when they were hit.
Among the recent incidents:
- 2019: Tow truck operator Keith Holt was struck and killed by a hit-and-run driver in Grand Prairie as he was helping a single mom.
- 2018: Tow truck customer Dylan Thomas Pietrzyk was struck and killed by an 18-wheeler as he waited to have his vehicle towed.
- 2018: Tow truck operator Charles McGough was struck and killed by a hit-and-run driver in Fort Worth as he was working.
- 2018: A Fort Worth Police Department officer was injured when he was hit by a car.
- 2018: A Dallas Police Department officer was critically injured when he was hit by a car
Texas law requires drivers to slow down at least 20 miles per hour under the posted speed limit or, if able, to change lanes when they’re passing a first responder stopped on the road.
“Please help us make sure emergency personnel including tow truck operators are safe when they’re trying to help people on our roadways. Slow down and move over. You can help prevent another tragedy just by taking the time to obey the law,” Francis said.
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