Tow truck drivers share post-storm clean up and dangers

HASTINGS, Neb. (KSNB) - For those who dared to venture out into Tuesday’s snow storm there is a chance that some of them were left in the ditch or on side roads in deep snow. Wednesday, tow truck drivers at Pat's Auto Repair in Hastings helped pull people out. Since last night they have responded to about 15 calls to help tow cars out.

After a big storm, tow truck drivers are the ones who have to help get cars out of ditches or unstuck from deep snow. They warn of the danger they are being put in. (KSNB)

During the storm drivers weigh the risks of certain calls to make sure they are not going to get stuck and with low visibility like there was, it puts their own lives in danger when people don't move over.

“If we're not going to be safe or if we're going to get stuck, I mean just because somebody else made a bad decision doesn't mean we're going to. So if you go out somewhere and you shouldn't be there and we're going to get stuck then your car is going to sit there,” Pat’s Auto Co-Owner Todd Tharp said.

One driver at Pat's has had his wrecker hit during a tow but was lucky enough to not get badly hurt. Now he warns the other drivers of keeping a lookout.

“I mean flashing lights or not, people just don't pay attention so you have to spend as much or more time watching and listening for traffic and make sure somebody is paying attention,” Tharp said. “I mean there is more time than not somebody will drive by and you'll see them looking down.”

Once more roads were plowed Wednesday, they were able to get in and get those cars out. Many of the people in the ditches were there because they drive too aggressively for the conditions.

“People think they have 4-wheel drives they can drive like it's dry and when it's slick it doesn't matter what you drive. So when people just don't drive for the conditions and now that it is warming up a little bit it is starting to melt and get slicker,” Tharp said.

There are some spots in town that see more slide offs and the drivers at Pat’s said they are on 281 north of Walmart as well as some others.

“Usually there on Highway 6 and 12th street they have areas where when the wind starts blowing across the road it turns into black ice and it'll be dry and then you'll have a quarter mile of black ice and people hit it and freak out and hit the brakes and slide in the ditch,” Tharp said.

People who have newer cars that try and pump the brakes when they begin to slide actually counteract the car that does it for them. With some of the melting that happened Wednesday, there are some concerns of more black ice tonight as the temperatures drop.