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Tow truck driver helps customer in labor (TN)


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As a tow truck driver for Sunset Towing, Ray Proctor has to be prepared for any situation on the road.


Recently, Proctor had a customer who needed his help in a way he had never imagined.


On Jan. 17, Emily Watkins, of Knoxville, was running errands in Morristown for her mother when she needed a tire changed on her car.


She was late in her term, but Emily wasn’t expecting to deliver for another week.


“At the time, I was driving to my mother’s house to drop off some medicine for her,” Watkins said.


“This is the first for me, I’ve been driving for six months,” Proctor said. “It all started as a tire change. After I was done with the tire change, she said that her water broke and that she was having contractions.”


Proctor knew he had to get into action. And fast.


“I told her, ‘Why don’t you get inside my SUV and we can take you to the hospital?’ I knew we could be there faster than EMS could get there,” he said.


Proctor and Watkins proceeded to Morristown-Hamblen Healthcare System and arrived at the emergency room entrance in three minutes.


“I told the staff that I had a lady who was giving birth,” Proctor said. “They brought a wheelchair and escorted her upstairs to the birthing center.”


When Proctor got parked, he joined Watkins in the birthing center.


“She was upset because she couldn’t get hold of her husband,” Proctor said.


“(My husband) was in Knoxville at the time and it worried me there for a little bit and was somewhat stressful,” Watkins said.


Proctor called Watkins’ husband, Darren, who has worked for Denark Construction for the last five years.


“I called him on my phone. I told him what was happening. He was in Knoxville and said he would leave immediately. I offered to stay with Emily until he got there.”


Proctor stayed with Watkins until Darren got there. An hour after the husband came to the hospital, Watkins gave birth to a baby boy. They named the boy David Ray Watkins, the Ray after the tow driver who gave assistance.


Meanwhile, Proctor had to get back to work on towing calls.


The proud mother has goals for little David Ray.


“I want David to grow up and reach for the stars,” Emily said. “I would also like for him to learn and show the same compassion like that driver did without question or hesitation.”


The kindness shown to Emily has not gone unnoticed.


“I would like to say thanks to Sunset Towing for having great drivers who are willing to go beyond the call of duty,” Emily said.


The Watkins’ have invited Proctor and his family to a gathering soon where all will meet.


“He said that he’d love to come because my family wants to meet him,” Emily said


Junior Tipton, owner of Sunset Towing, was appreciative of Proctor’s actions.


“I think it’s a good deal when one of my drivers goes above and beyond to help someone like that,” he said. “Ray did a really good job staying and taking care of her. Most towers wouldn’t do that. We have several good companies in Morristown. I would think they would also step up if they were in the same situation.


“Ray is doing a really good job. I’m so proud of him over here,” Tipton said.



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