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Phoenix tow truck driver hit, ran over by suspected impaired driver


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PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5)-- A tow truck driver made it out alive after police say a suspected impaired driver hit him and ran him over. The victim told Arizona's Family that it happened on Cave Creek Road near Mountain View Road as he was unloading cars for a dealership in between the solid yellow lines in the middle of the street.


The victim, who did not want to be identified, told Arizona's Family that he had done it a million times, but this time a suspected impaired driver hit him and ran him over.


He's dealing with a long list of injuries, including broken ribs, broken vertebrae, a fractured arm, and a broken jaw. Doctors had to wire his jaw shut, and they also put four plates in his face. The crash happened on the same day an ADOT worker was killed on the job. Now, the victim and his family have a message for drivers who pass by people working on the road.



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I'm glad this tower survived his injuries, but it sends another example of how working simple surroundings can turn deadly as stated by the tower's comment, "I've done this a million times." Although I wasn't there to know all of the facts, the video's commentary and over-head view of the location shows an industrial park and a wide, multi-laned roadway with a center turn-lane. Loading or unloading cars from a (two-way center-turn lane) location puts a tower immediately into harm's way and subject to vehicle strike from BOTH sides of the tow truck. From what I see, I think the location was an active turn-lane, not a solid yellow, painted center island.


DUI waits for no-one and no tower is safe on or off the highway at 0200 hours or in the middle of the day. Although I understand the ease and convenience of loading or unloading in wide-open spaces, towers run the risk of being struck even under the best conditions. I'm not criticizing the towers actions as this is how vehicles are typically delivered, but there's a lesson learned that can be applied by loading or off-loading out of the main stream of traffic. Keep in mind that SDMO is not a requirement of inner-city driving so the risks are just as great.    R.

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Randall C. Resch

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I am not picking on this driver directly, well yes I am I guess. I have to ask, what were you thinking? That appears to be a major thoroughfare.  If you need to drop at a dealership that has limited access go to a nearby lot to offload. This was 100% preventable. This is a vivid example of the "it will not happen to me/sucks to be you" attitude that is prevalent in this industry. SDMO is not a safety shield to protect  you in the event of a crash. It is a tool. It is one tool. If you go to pull a driveline, to be successful at the task you need multiple tools. If you just have the socket you are not properly equipped to complete the task. You need a breaker bar, ratchet, and possibly an extension, possibly an impact.  Relying solely SDMO is parallel to having only a socket. It is useless if you do not practice other safety mechanisms as well.

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