LEXINGTON, Va. – A towing company in Lexington has seen its share of crashes since the business began in 1983. They say many of those crashes happen when people don't see the tow trucks or don't move over to give them space.
Auto Towing & Repair has been selected by a national magazine to continue spreading awareness of the Slow Down and Move Over law.
Jimmy Southers spends most of his days in his tow truck helping to pull people and their cars out of tough situations. With more than 30 years of experience, he knows the dangers of stopping on the side of roads and interstates.
"Interstate 81 is a very dangerous highway. There was a deputy that a tractor-trailer ran into here about two years ago," said Southers.
To prevent accidents like that, Auto Towing & Repair will be part of the Spirit Ride, which is less than two weeks away. The event will promote the Slow Down and Move Over law.
Which not only includes law enforcement and emergency vehicles but also tow trucks.
"It has affected us by helping people realize they need to move over to make it safer for us and other first responders operating on the side of the highway," said Southers.
As part of the event, according to a news release by American Towman, Southers will drive the colorful, ceremonial casket at the head of a tow truck procession, then relay the casket to another tow driver down the line. The casket pays tribute to tow operators and first responders killed by passing vehicles while working on the roadside.
There will be a towing company coming to West Denny Circle at Washington and Lee on Tuesday, Sept. 12 at 2 p.m. to hand off the event's casket to Southers.
Southers will start his journey to Glade Hill, Virginia, in Franklin County, by going through Nelson Street in Lexington heading to Interstate 81. Tabetha Goodbar has been encouraging people to come to a send-off before Southers leaves Lexington.
"My husband is a tow truck driver. So on a daily basis, I worry if he's on the side of the interstate and if he's going to make it home or not. So this is a great cause," Goodbar said.
The Spirit Ride is sponsored by American Towman. Auto Towing & Repair is one of four companies chosen for the ride this fall.
All law enforcement agencies and tow companies are asked to participate in a ceremony before Southers is escorted out of town.