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Tower Down 01.04.20 (SD) "UPDATED 01.04.21"


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WATERTOWN, S.D. (KELO) — One man is dead following a crash in Watertown just after 8:30 a.m. Saturday on the 200 block of 20th Avenue.


According to the Watertown Police Department, a vehicle lost control and hit a tow truck operator who was helping remove another vehicle from the ditch. The tow truck operator was killed.


The name of the victim has not been released. Charges are pending.




Tow Operator Killed in Fatal Car Crash Saturday Morning


On 1/4/2020 at approximately 8:35AM, the Watertown Police Department, along with the Codington County Sheriff’s Department, South Dakota Highway Patrol and Watertown Fire Rescue responded to a roadway fatality.


According to Police Corporal Juan Flores, A 2000 Chevrolet Impala, driven by Quentin Godes, lost control on the roadway and struck a tow truck operator assisting in removing another vehicle from the ditch. The operator suffered fatal injuries in the crash.


The name of the deceased is being withheld at this time, pending more notifications.

Charges are pending further investigation. The incident is being investigated by the Watertown Police Department Accident Reconstruction Team with assistance from the South Dakota Highway Patrol.




A Statement by the Lieutenant at Watertown Fire Rescue states:


As a first responder people often ask who our hero’s are. When we are on-scene our hero’s are the wrecker operators, snow plow operators, and anyone else who responds to help first responders. They are our first responders. Today, I lost a friend, a super hero in his industry, a guy who would stop to help anyone. Not many know the feeling of sitting on the roadway after an accident hoping your not the next statistic. People are terribly irresponsible, inconsiderate, or unaware as they pass an accident. No matter how many lights, emergency vehicles, or tow trucks they are unfazed, emotionally unattached for what is going on. Please remember that we are all out there to help, to make it safe, we want to go home safe. We want to see our families and loved ones. I will miss your smile Dale, I will miss your humor, I will miss you.



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This is so sad. I know him from my travels and the picture of him surely describes his personality. It hits closest to home when it's one of your industry friends. South Dakota is one of those states where this seldom happens. The last time that I can see that a on-highway incident like this happened was in 2001 when tow operator Brian Watson was killed changing a tire near Sturgis. This is another sad example of the motoring public's inability to slow down especially when snow and ice are the product of their weather. I'm so sorry for your loss.    R.

Randall C. Resch

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Looks like another bad year of senseless loss of life . I pray he’s in a better place . The loss his family must feel is beyond anything I know but I pray they will be ok . We all need to pass the word about the move over movement. God bless 

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Our sincere condolences....our thoughts and prayers go out to all of his Family, friends and co workers.....


Rest in peace  dude...from your fellow towers across the pond. 



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It seems that matters are getting worse in terms of roadside safety for towmen. 2020 isn't even a week old as of today; yet we've lost three towmen within the first four days. My deepest condolences to his family and colleagues.


Charles Duke

American Towman/Tow Industry Week

Charles Duke

American Towman Magazine/Tow Industry Week

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So so sad. 3 towers gone in a week.  Our deepest condolences to his family, friends, and co-workers.

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

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



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This is so sad. It is getting so bad that I think we should furnish traffic control at every scene and bill the customer for the additional expense. It's just too dangerous. We need to find a solution.

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  • 11 months later...
  • 5 months later...

Submitted by Andy Wicks:


Dale would have been 49 today. Instead, his life was taken on Jan 4, 2020 by a driver that didn’t have control going past him working an incident scene.


A few seconds of your day may be all it would have taken to let my friend get to see his birthday.




South Dakota has designated June as “Move Over” awareness month. Please remember to move over or slow down when passing those of us who work roadside.


Gov. Noem Recognizes Move Over Awareness Month

PIERRE, S.D. – June is Move Over Awareness Month in South Dakota, and today Governor Kristi Noem reminded all South Dakotans to drive safely and move over when passing stopped vehicles, especially emergency vehicles.


The South Dakota Legislature designated June as Move Over Awareness Month in memory of Dale Jones, a South Dakota tow operator who was killed by a passing vehicle this past January.


“Dale Jones’ birthday would have been today,” said Governor Kristi Noem. “We recognize June as Move Over Awareness Month in the hope that what happened to Dale will never happen again in our state. I want to thank Senator John Wiik and all the other legislators that brought this important issue to the forefront.”


The South Dakota Legislature also passed and Governor Noem signed two laws designed to protect stopped emergency vehicles. Senate Bill 164 revised the penalties and provisions regarding approaching stopped vehicles. House Bill 1170 revised provisions regarding the use of certain lights by tow truck vehicles and Department of Transportation authorized vehicles.



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