OKC Tow Trucks Convoy In Support Of Tulsa Driver Killed
OKLAHOMA CITY - Oklahoma City tow trucks made their way up the Will Rogers Turnpike Thursday morning to attend the funeral of a tow truck driver who was killed near Tulsa last week.
Jonathan Taylor did everything right to protect himself, but a careless driver took his life in an instant.
On Jan. 26, Taylor, known best as JT, was helping remove a disabled semi-truck from the Turnpike in Claremore. He even had an Allied Towing trainer on scene to make sure he was taking proper safety precautions.
“He was not only behind the white fog line; he was behind the rumble strip,” said Bryan Hull, owner of Oklahoma Towing and Recovery. “He was there with his lights activated, they had cones put out on the white line to alert people to move over.”
But another semi-truck came barreling down the highway and drifted onto the shoulder, striking the side of that disabled vehicle and pushing it into JT.
“Moving over that one lane, that eight or nine feet, would have been the difference of him still being here right now, being able to spend time with his three kids or his wife. It makes me sad and mad all at the same time,” said Nick Ragsdale of Ragsdale Towing and Recovery.
Slow Down, Move Over laws have been in place for years, and include protections for tow trucks with their lights flashing. Still, across the country more than 60 tow truck drivers are killed each year, and their brothers blame the public's carelessness and distracted driving.
Hull said, “There’s really no excuse for people to not know that it’s a law.”
Thursday the OKC convoy carried a sign bearing the words “Slow Down – It’s The Law – Move Over,” and they hope to be a reminder, wearing memorial ribbons in JT's honor and vowing to protect each other on the road, since they feel that no one else will.
Ragsdale said when his workers see a lone tow truck, “We initiate our lights and try to keep people off that other truck, just so they can make it home safe, whether we know who it is or not. We don’t care.”
The next time you see flashing lights or anyone on the side of the road, take a moment to slow down or move over. It could save a life.