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Speed could have made the difference: Tow truck driver left in guarded condition after crash (NY)


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The Monroe County Sheriff's Office is blaming unreasonable speed for a crash on Interstate 390 Tuesday night that left a tow truck driver seriously injured.

Clayton George is at Strong Hospital where he remains in guarded condition. 

George is a father of four children who has worked for Gates Towing for over a year. 

The owner of Gates Towing, Tony Ardillo, can't say enough positives things about George.  


"Great worker, the kind of worker you pray for," Ardillo said. "All he wants to do is work and support his family."

On Tuesday night, George answered a call for a broken down vehicle near the Rush exit on 390 south. It was around 11:30 p.m. and the snow flakes had just started to come down quite heavily. 

Ardillo says George had finished the job and was putting away tools when a pickup truck slammed into the back of the tow truck and then hit him. 

Sheriff's deputies gave the driver a ticket for "speed not reasonable or prudent for slippery road conditions caused by falling snow or ice."

"Doesn't matter if you're driving a four-wheel drive, a big truck, a small truck, a car...when it comes to ice it doesn't matter. It's like being on marbles. There's no way to slow down," said Ardillo.

Kenneth Moore was a tow operator until eight years ago. He says a slower speed could have made a difference Tuesday night, even if the driver couldn't abide by the law and move over.

He should know. In January of 2011, Moore had a similar experience. A car hit him while he was helping a driver on the side of the road. He lost his legs and had to give up his career. He now travels the highway helping other tow drivers whenever he sees them, and he has a simple message.

"We're on the side the road. We're trying to do a job," he said. "If you just slow down when you see flashing lights... if you slow down you will have more control of your vehicle. Most importantly, you can avoid getting in an accident that could cause life-changing injuries."



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