“Anchorage, Alaska Tow Operator Struck and Killed While Loading Vehicle”

Anchorage, AL  Police in Anchorage, Alaska, say a tow operator was struck by a vehicle as he loaded a car that had become stuck in a ditch on the early morning of Sunday, Nov. 29.

The operator, who has not been identified upon notification of kin, had responded to the scene where a driver had gone into the ditch. Police were called to the incident at 1:49 a.m., a news report stated. The driver of the vehicle was arrested for driving under the influence.

As an officer remained on the scene while the operator was loading the car, another vehicle struck him. He was taken to a local hospital where he died.

The driver of the second vehicle was arrested and charged with manslaughter, driving under the influence and violation of license limitation.”

Analyzing data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, NIOSH researchers found that 191 motor vehicle towing workers were killed between 2011 and 2016, resulting in an annual rate of 42.9 deaths per 100,000 full-time equivalent workers. For all other industries, that rate was 2.9 per 100,000 FTEs. Additionally, the annual nonfatal injury rate among motor vehicle towing workers during that same period was 204.2 per 10,000 FTEs – more than double the rate of 98.2 for all industries.

These tragic accidents highlight the dangers tow truck drivers face while in the field conducting their job duties, as oncoming motorists can present numerous safety issues. There are various safety measures the tow truck drivers can take to reduce their exposure while on the road, and are as follows:

  • Wear appropriate reflective gear, and have the tow truck emergency lights on.
  • Use the controls on the non-road side while hooking up a vehicle.

Another important course all tow truck drivers can take is “Traffic Incident Management”. TIM consists of planned and coordinated multi-disciplinary process to detect, respond to, and clear traffic incidents and restore traffic flow as safely and quickly as possible. Applied effectively, TIM reduces the duration and impacts of traffic incidents and improves the safety of motorists, crash victims, and emergency responders.

Here are some safety tips to keep in mind for the well-being of tow truck drivers.

  1. Look out for cones or emergency lights.
  2. Move over and change lanes if you can.
  3. Slow down.

Abide by Massachusetts Move Over Law.