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Tow truck driver killed in hit-and-run crash (MO)


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Police were looking for the driver of a black sedan that struck and killed a tow truck driver working a roadside rescue along Interstate 35 in Kansas City, North, late Sunday.

 

The tow truck driver was identified as John “Johnny” Stewart, according to the Facebook page for GT Tow Service of Smithville.

 

The crash occurred about 10:45 p.m. Sunday along northbound I-35 near North Brighton Avenue.

 

Stewart, who was helping a stranded motorist, was hit while he was securing a silver Toyota on his truck. He was standing at the controls near the left side of his truck, according to a preliminary crash report from Kansas City police. Stewart was pronounced dead at the scene.

 

The vehicle that struck him fled the scene without stopping.

 

Family members pleaded on Facebook for anyone who sees a black sedan with “lots of front end damage and broken headlight” to call authorities immediately.

 

The owner of GT Tow Service has been an advocate for “move over” laws, which require drivers to give wide berth to emergency vehicles stopped on the roadside, after the owner’s 18-year-old son Blake Gresham was killed working a roadside rescue.

 

Gresham was killed on Aug. 27, 2012, when he was struck by a box truck while getting ready to tow a stranded vehicle on I-35 near the Christopher S. Bond Bridge .

 

Gresham’s family has started a nonprofit organization, Move Over for Blake, to raise public safety awareness for tow truck workers and other emergency personnel on the roadways.

 

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- For the second time in six years, a Smithville, Mo., tow company has lost a driver, killed on the highway Sunday night while helping a stranded motorist. Police say they have located a hit-and-run driver and their vehicle, that man is in custody awaiting charges in Clay County.

 

The crash happened about 11 p.m. near Interstate 35 and North Brighton Avenue.

 

The operator had just loaded a woman's broken down car onto his truck.

 

As Johnny Stewart came around the back of his tow truck to get back in the cab, his employer says another car traveling down the highway hit and killed him.

 

GT Towing employed Stewart for the last four or five years. He was known as hard working and customer friendly, often earning tips from drivers for going above and beyond to help them.

 

Stewart's boss, Amy Gresham, says the death is all too similar to what happened to her son, Blake.

 

In 2012, a driver struck and killed 19-year-old Blake Gresham as he helped a stranded car owner on the Bond Bridge.

 

"We just need these people to realize when these guys are out here working they need to slow down and move over," Amy Gresham said. "They have to have room to work. I mean we’re going to have cars, we’re going to have to have tow trucks. These guys are there to help you. These guys are there to make sure you’re not getting hurt. You’re not the one getting hit, you know what I’m saying. There's so many people who take it for granted."

 

Gresham founded "Move Over For Blake" a non-profit group that helped expand a Missouri law requiring drivers to move over when emergency vehicles are alongside the roadway.

 

Gresham says Stewart's death is the latest example of why she believes there needs to be stricter enforcement of the law, because she says many drivers still seem unwilling to move over.

Stewart's family gave this comment on Monday:

 

"We are devastated by the death of Johnny.  He was a good man that was killed while doing what he loved to do.  We respectfully request that you allow us our privacy at this difficult time."

 

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A correction should be noted to the Tower Down Email which was sent out on 11.19.17. The date on the Tower Down should have been Sunday 11.18.18 and not 11.17.18. My apologies for the error.

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OMG this is so sad. I will be praying for his family,  friends and all his co-worker at GT Tow Service. I pray they find the person who did this and put him away.

Contact: Doreen Aragona - Integrated Leasing - Office: 800-551-4854 Ext 20

Email: Doreen@integratedleasing.com  Cell 516-852-5740

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www.INTEGRATEDLEASING.COM

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2 hours ago, TowNews said:

Police were looking for the driver of a black sedan that struck and killed a tow truck driver working a roadside rescue along Interstate 35 in Kansas City, North, late Sunday.

 

The tow truck driver was identified as John “Johnny” Stewart, according to the Facebook page for GT Tow Service of Smithville.

 

The crash occurred about 10:45 p.m. Sunday along northbound I-35 near North Brighton Avenue.

 

Stewart, who was helping a stranded motorist, was hit while he was securing a silver Toyota on his truck. He was standing at the controls near the left side of his truck, according to a preliminary crash report from Kansas City police. Stewart was pronounced dead at the scene.

 

The vehicle that struck him fled the scene without stopping.

 

Family members pleaded on Facebook for anyone who sees a black sedan with “lots of front end damage and broken headlight” to call authorities immediately.

 

The owner of GT Tow Service has been an advocate for “move over” laws, which require drivers to give wide berth to emergency vehicles stopped on the roadside, after the owner’s 18-year-old son Blake Gresham was killed working a roadside rescue.

 

Gresham was killed on Aug. 27, 2012, when he was struck by a box truck while getting ready to tow a stranded vehicle on I-35 near the Christopher S. Bond Bridge .

 

Gresham’s family has started a nonprofit organization, Move Over for Blake, to raise public safety awareness for tow truck workers and other emergency personnel on the roadways.

 

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This breaks my heart, another tow brother has lost his life because someone didnt slow down and move over. My condolences to the family and friends 

 

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Very sad. Thoughts and prayers go out to his family and friends. There is no excuse for this to keep happening. We’ve lost too many good people already. 

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