Tow truck drivers respond during winter weather

Tow truck drivers respond during winter weather

Posted: Mar. 6, 2018 7:04 PM
Updated: Mar. 6, 2018 7:31 PM

CLEAR LAKE, Iowa - When snow covers roadways and creates slippery conditions, many vehicles slide off and into the ditch.

And that means tow trucks are put into service.

But the conditions were so bad during the peak of the snow storm on Monday that the Iowa State Patrol issued a towing ban for Worth and Cerro Gordo Counties. This meant that if you were stuck, chances are you would have to wait.

The ban was lifted Monday night, but Larry Small, who owns Happy Trails Wrecker Service in Clear Lake, says the ban helps immensely with safety when issued.

"You have somebody in the ditch, and you've got other cars smoking by at 70 miles an hour, and it's a matter of people not slowing down, and when you can't see out there, they can't see us working there," Small says.

In the wake of two major car pile-ups on Interstate 35 near Ames recently, Small adds the ban should serve as a reminder to watch what's ahead.

"You're supposed to slow down or move over, that's the law. And for the most part, it's being adhered to, but there still are times where we nearly get run over," Small says.

His son Justin notes that some drivers follow way too closely to their trucks.

"We're on the side of the road at the controls, and you have a car pass you that didn't get over. Sometimes, it's less than five inches behind your back," Justin Small says.

Larry Small says they have towed four cars since Tuesday morning.

At time of publication, Iowa State Patrol reported 112 vehicles that went off the road, and three jack-knifed semis from 5 a.m. Monday to 11 a.m. Tuesday morning, and Minnesota State Troopers say they responded to 93 crashes between Midnight and 10 a.m.

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