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Wrecker companies tasked with cleaning debris (NC)


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Q: Who is responsible for removing vehicle accident debris? You can still see glass, bumpers, lights, chrome, etc., days after an accident, sometimes still in the roadway. Who is supposed to get it off of the road? — R.C., Fayetteville


A: Andrew Barksdale, a spokesman for the N.C. Department of Transportation, said in an email that “Generally speaking, the wrecker company for the investigating law enforcement agency cleans up the vehicle debris out of the roadway.”

He said this is true for wrecks investigated by the Fayetteville Police Department and for those investigated by the N.C. Highway Patrol. Both use wrecker rotations.

Cleaning up the debris is part of the agreements for being on the rotation lists and can’t be charged as an extra service, according to the state’s rotation wrecker regulations. The only exception is for hazardous materials.

Barksdale said that if the wreck occurred on Interstate 95 in the Fayetteville and Lumberton area or in Johnston County, NCDOT’s State Farm Safety Patrols may help the wrecker company clean up debris from the roadway and shoulder.



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What if two vehicles collide, they're both driveable and owners pull to the shoulder to exchange information (no cops involved) and no tow trucks are called. Why is it assumed that tow truck companies were guilty of leaving debris in the roadway? Yes, tow companies are typically responsible for the accident debris from the vehicle they're called to tow. There are also times, for purposes of public safety and to prevent secondary collisions, an officer on-scene will tell the tower to simply load and go.

Randall C. Resch

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Wow. NC doesnt allow towers to charge for scene clean up? Thats amazing to me. There are times where we are on scene longer to perform clean up then we are to load and tow. it is required of us in our rotation contract but we are permitted to charge appropriately for our services. there has been companies here that have been suspended from the rotation for not cleaning up and then charging for it.


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