Tow truck operators are urging drivers to slow down and move over now that the season of slick roads has arrived.
Clayton George, 32, a tow truck driver for Gates Towing, was hit by a car early Wednesday. He was wrapping up a service call at the time, assisting a driver on 390 South when another the driver of another vehicle lost control and hit him.
The driver of the other vehicle called 911. She was ticketed for driving at an unreasonable speed ford the weather conditions. The Monroe County Sheriff’s Office says drugs and alcohol were not a factor.
George remains in guarded condition at an area hospital.
Tony Ardillo, owner of Gates Towing, wants drivers to remember to look for service vehicles during bad weather.
"If you see a situation where it doesn't look good, it probably isn’t good so you should back it down,” he said.
New York’s “Move Over” law requires drivers to slow down and move into another lane when tow trucks, law enforcement or emergency vehicles are on the side of the road.
"A lot of times people will get a bad impression of the move over law because you can’t move over sometimes. That's OK, don’t move over,” he said. "But drivers should still slow down. They should have called it the 'move over, slow down law.'”
The calls for tow truck service continue at Gates Towing, where employees are shocked about the late-night incident.
"It’s hard for all the employees here. It could have been any one of us," said manager Tim Matuszak.
Matuszak is in the process of setting up a Go Fund Me page for George and his family. George is a father of four children under the age of ten.
"He’s one of our best guys, he’s just a nice, nice guy," says Ardillo.
Tow truck operators from all over the area are supporting George and calling on all drivers to pay closer attention on the roads.
"We just ask for some support and just pay attention,” Ardillo said. “Don’t get distracted, don’t drive fast in the conditions, you know, that’s not a lot to ask."