MINNETONKA, Minn. — A tow truck driver and passenger are recovering tonight after after a car crash on Interstate 394 at Hopkins Crossroad in Minnetonka Saturday night.
Minnesota State Patrol says a tow truck driver and his passenger were injured when a car ran into an SUV being loaded onto the tow truck, before the car spun around and was hit by another SUV.
"It's a tremendous problem."
Quinn Piening is the president of the Emergency Road Service Coalition of America, which is focused on advocacy and training.
"We train operators in the essentials of towing and the foundation is based on safety," he said.
He says instances like this happen far too often nationwide. An average of 24 emergency responders including tow providers are struck and killed by vehicles while working at the roadside each year, according to the American Automobile Association. This data means someone in the line of work is killed, on average, every other week.
"The towing industry has a motto of slow down and move over," said Piening.
Minnesota's Ted Foss "Move Over Law" is named after a state patrol trooper who was killed while on the shoulder of Interstate 90 in Winona back in 2000.
It requires drivers to stay more than one lane away from stopped emergency vehicles with flashing lights when possible, or to slow down.
"It's getting away from the cell phone, the distracted drivers," said Piening.
While both the tow truck driver and passenger in this latest incident were left with non-life threatening injuries, Piening is hoping to raise awareness to keep drivers safe.
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