Tow truck operator urges drivers to move over - WSIL-TV 3 Southern Illinois

Tow truck operator urges drivers to move over

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JEFFERSON COUNTY (WSIL) -- The most recent crash data available from Illinois Department of Transportation shows a startling number of accidents along Interstate 57 in southern Illinois. In 2017, 445 crashes were reported along the stretch from Jefferson County to Union County. 

Neil Sinks with Rend Lake Towing says despite all the yellow lights, drivers still ignore the warning. A study from the National Safety Council shows that those who work in the towing industry face on-the-job fatality risks 15 times greater than any other laborers. 

"It's like people are oblivious to yellow lights anymore. It's almost like mosquitoes drawn to a light instead of trying to stay away from them," said Sinks. 

Sinks has been driving a tow truck for more than 20 years. He's the President of Rend Lake Towing and gets multiple calls each week to crashes on Interstate 57.

"It seems like in the past, really the past year, it has gotten just out of hand," said Sinks. 

Just a month ago, he was parked on the shoulder of the interstate trying to hook up to a vehicle to tow it out, when he noticed a truck barreling towards him. 

"He just kept getting closer and closer, and I stepped away from my truck trying to get his attention, and he basically never saw me and drove right in the back of my semi wrecker at full speed. Never touched his breaks," said Sinks. 

That was the second time a truck of his had been hit, and he says close calls happen all the time. Sinks says he's growing more and more uncomfortable working on the side of the road. 

"You can't do this kind of work and ever turn your back on traffic. You just won't make it. There is just too many people not paying attention," said Sinks. 

So he's begging drivers to keep your eyes on the road and move over when you see flashing lights. He says just like everyone else, he wants to make it home to his family. 

Sinks added that he is thankful Illinois State Police have increased their enforcement of Scott's Law.

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