Fatal accident in Russell County highlights safety concern for tow truck drivers

Posted: | Updated: Thu 11:12 PM, Jul 13, 2017 Last week, a tow truck driver was killed along a stretch of Interstate 70 in Russell County.[1]

Troopers say the truck was pulled over along the side of the road to tow a broken-down vehicle when another car came along, drove on the should and hit the truck’s driver.

In Kansas, the law says you must slow down and change lanes when possible for emergency vehicles. That includes tow trucks. When a tow truck is on the shoulder of a highway, things can get pretty tense.

Thursday, Eyewitness News reporter Jacob Albracht found out just how dangerous towing vehicles can be. You may not think about it, but like many other emergency workers, tow truck drivers like Harry Chenault put their lives on the line every day. “There was a tow truck driver killed in Russell last week.

I know it’s one of the dangers of the jobs, but we all have families that we’d like to make it home to,” Chenault says. Following last week’s accident in Russell County, we wanted to get a look at those dangers firsthand. “You get a couple people that move over, but most people are just flying by the truck,” Chenault says.

Albracht stuck a camera on the back of Chenault’s truck to see how close, and how fast, vehicles come by. The amount of drivers who stayed in the lane closes to the tow truck was alarming, even with red and blue lights flashing. “It’s fairly dangerous,” Chenault says. “Out here on the side of the road, trying to help stranded motorists, it only takes a split second for somebody to lose their life.”

Kansas law says you must move over or slow down, if at all possible, for tow trucks drivers. But for Chenault, it’s more than a legal matter. “Slow down.

I have a family. I have a wife and two children that depend on me. I would love to make it home to them every night,” he says.

Chenault has been working in towing business for six years and says he wouldn’t want to do anything else.

He likes that he can help people get out of tough spots and home to their families.


  1. ^ killed along a stretch of Interstate 70 in Russell County. (www.kwch.com)

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