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Dozens of tow truck drivers hold slow down, move over event in Portland

By Drew Marine

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    PORTLAND Oregon (KPTV) — A Portland tow truck driver is still in the hospital weeks after he was hit by another tow truck driver while on the job.

Now, his friends and fellow drivers are hoping to raise awareness about the Move Over law, which requires drivers to slow five miles-per-hour below the posted speed limit or move over a lane for any car on the side of the road with flashing lights.

Being hit while on the job is a fear many tow truck drivers have every day when they’re on the clock.

Jacob Best with Northwestern Towing said he knew of two fellow drivers who were recently hit, one was inured and the other killed.

“A Chappelle’s driver within the last year or two, he got hit on the side of the freeway in Vancouver and he actually lost his leg,” Best said. “TLC towing down the way had a driver struck and killed by a semi-truck. It’s just happening more and more.”

A few weeks ago, when Northwestern Towing driver Arthur Walker was hit on a job, the other drivers were devastated, said James Jerome, also with Northwestern Towing.

“When we got to the hospital it was a tear fest,” Jerome said.

On Jan. 29, Portland police said Walker had just loaded up a car and was still outside his truck on Interstate 84 when another tow truck driver hit him and left the scene. Police said the driver who hit Walker turned himself in later after seeing news coverage of the crash and realizing he was the suspect.

While Walker survived the crash, Jerome said Walker has needed several surgeries since.

“He has a heart of gold and I know he wants to be back out there, obviously it will be a long time before he’s on the road,” Jerome said. “But he at least wants to at least be with us, be with his friends and family and he’s got a huge support here right now.”

Dozens of tow truck drivers from Vancouver, Wash. to Beaverton lit up Portland streets and freeways with their hazard lights, hoping to raise awareness about the Move Over law on Saturday.

Best said the few seconds it takes to slow down or move one lane over when someone is on the side of the road can mean life or death.

“We help people get home whether it’s in the rain, the snow, or the middle of the night. This is my reason I wanna go home,” Best said, holding his son. “They’re waiting for me every day and I wanna go home. If it takes you 10 seconds or adds 30 seconds to your commute by having to slow down, it means the world to us.”

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