MUSKEGON, Mich– Andrew Heykoop has been in the wrecking business for a very long time.
His father was a tow truck driver, and says he’s been chaining up cars since he could walk.
“We want to get the job done and we want to do it safely,” Andrew Heykoop, Operations Manager, Eagle Towing said. “We want to make sure the general public is safe when we are doing it.”
This past Sunday, Andrew had a close call while he was trying to pull a car out of a ditch. A truck that was passing the accident he was working on lost control, and slammed into his tow truck.
“When my truck was struck and I had to dive, I just wanted to go sit in my truck and sit there for a little bit,” Heykoop said. “But unfortunately there was six cars around me that I had to get out of the roadway, before I could even think about doing anything else.”
Andrew says many drivers aren’t following the Michigan Emergency Vehicle Caution Law. It requires all drivers to move over if they see emergency personnel, wrecking services or utility working on the side of the road, if there are two or more lanes.
“They don’t want to move over on the icy road conditions and if they can’t move over, that’s fine,” Heykoop said. “They just need to reduce their speed of overall driving.”
Andrew says he isn’t the only one that’s had his vehicle hit, while working on the side of the road. He says he knows of at least 6 different police cars that have been struck in the last couple of weeks. He just hopes by putting the word out there, people will start to pay more attention to the roads, and what’s going on, on the shoulder.
“Michigan’s law is clear and simple,” Heykoop said. It protects all highway workers, and you need to reduce your speed, which you should be doing anyway in this weather. If you can safely move over, then you need to move over and give us the room to work and not see what we are doing.”