SCOTT TOWNSHIP, LACKAWANNA COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU) A movement is rolling through the United States to put an end to deaths of first responders. As Eyewitness News Reporter Crystal Cranmore explains, the goal is to prevent tragedy along the white line.
It was not disabled vehicles that tow truck operators fastened onto the bed of a truck. Instead, it was a message..
“Hopefully they will pay attention to it and want to know what it’s all about.” Said Michelle Duchnik, mom of David Duchnik, He was a tow truck operator who died on the job.
A casket with the words “slow down move over” Made its way from Scott Township to Monroe, New York as part of what’s billed as “Spirit ride”.
The event aims to draw awareness to the laws that require drivers to move over a lane when they see tow truck drivers or other first responders at an emergency scene.
Marisa Duchnik, the wife of David Duchnik, lived that tragedy “When I see people on the side of the road and they don’t move over, it is frustrating and it just makes me want to make this awareness even more.”
Marisa Duchnik lost her husband David in August of 2016.the tow truck operator was responding to a crash along Interstate 81 when a big rig slammed into him.
The entire family has taken a loss and turned it into a movement to prevent other tragedies. Before the ride, there was a ceremonial passing of this baton, to signify the sound of a car and the split second you and the split sound of a car to signify the to signify the sound of a car and the split second you can never get back.
According to the International Towing Museum, the industry loses about 60 operators a year. First responders are urging drivers for more room.
“Not only ensuring our safety but the people we take care of involved in accidents.” Said Joe Corcoran, Dickson City EMT-Ambulance Company
This is the first year of the ride. It started in Massachusetts and will end in Baltimore traveling thousands of miles across the country – to shine a light on the service of men and women who risk their lives every day.
PennDOT updated its traffic boards along interstate 81 to remind drivers to move over for first responders.