After deadly crash, a look at if drivers really 'move over' for emergencies

After deadly crash, a look at if drivers really 'move over' for emergencies

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by Jamie Grey

Bio | Email | Follow: @KTVBJamieGrey

KTVB.COM

Posted on September 4, 2013 at 9:53 PM

Updated Thursday, Sep 5 at 8:21 AM

GLENNS FERRY, Idaho -- Idaho State Police are asking for help in finding more information and witnesses from a deadly crash on Saturday, August 31.

Jason Richmond, 32, of Utah was killed by a passing semi-truck as he was helping a tow truck operator get his 2012 Jeep Patriot off Interstate 84 near Glenns Ferry. The truck was a 2007 Volvo pulling a 2011 Great Dane trailer.

The crash happened around 8:00 p.m. and ISP would like anyone who saw the actual incident or those vehicles in the minutes before the crash to call Sgt. Sam Ketchum at 208-884-7360.

TOW TRUCK OPERATORS: TOO MANY CLOSE CALLS

While the exact circumstances are still under investigation, the crash has other tow truck operators talking about the requency of close calls on the side of the road.

"It seems like once a week there is a death from a tow truck or a death of a tow truck operator due to somebody hitting them on the side of the road," Scott Kohn, owner of ACT Towing in Boise said.

Kohn says he keeps in touch with other tow truck operators via Facebook, and they all notice and discuss deadly crashes and close calls. He says many people are good about moving over, but the people who don't -- make the job extra dangerous.

"You know at 70 miles an hour, and they're 5 feet away from you when you're trying to do the job, it's nerve wracking," Kohn said.

TOW TRUCKS, ITD TRUCKS, OTHERS FALL UNDER 'MOVE OVER'

When tow trucks are working on recovering a vehicle, they actually fall under the Move Over Law. ISP Trooper Andrew Nakashima explains the law means you have to slow down for stopped emergency vehicles, or if on a multi-lane highway, like I-84, completely move out of the nearest lane.

"It gives the people who are working on the side of the road that little cushion of safety," Nakashima said. "When you're out there measuring a crash scene or just talking to someone you've just stopped for a traffic infraction, having cars go whizzing by you at 70 miles an hour, it's pretty unnerving at times."

Nakashima generally rides a motorcycle while out on patrol, which offers even less protection on a stop. On Wednesday, he took KTVB out with him in a patrol car to show how often people fail to move over.

RIDE ALONG WITH ISP

On I-84, while finishing one traffic stop, Nakashima quickly spotted a truck not moving to another lane. Nakashima pulled that truck over and issued a citation. Then, on the way back to the car, he pointed out another car he says could have safely pulled to an inside lane. He also reviewed his in-vehicle video to confirm -- and after seeing it, issued a $90 ticket to that driver.

"The law covers any authorized emergency vehicle, which is ambulance, fire truck, police, tow trucks, even the construction trucks from ITD that have flashing yellow lights on top of them," Nakashima said. "That's what the law requires, but really anytime you're driving down the road, if you see a car on the side of the road ahead of you, you should change lanes to get away from them because you don't really know."

Nakashima also says if you are a motorist who has to stop on the side of the road to exercise extreme caution. He says he too often sees people changing tires too close to the road or standing in the roadway waiting for help from a tow truck or ride.

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