Slowing down for roadside assistance

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FORTY FORT, LUZERNE COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU) –We are entering one of the busiest travel weekends of the year. 40 million people are expected to hit the nation’s highways for the July 4th weekend.

We have a safety alert for drivers. Keep an eye out for those who answer the call for help on our highways. Wednesday Eyewitness News spent some time with tow truck operators who are urging all of us to keep eyes open and slow down if you see them on the side of the highway.

“These people got to slow down and move over,” Dave Basala of Wreck Towing, Inc said.

Basala knows all too well what can happen out on the highway. He’s been in the towing business for 25 years. He even wears a body cam to his calls.

“You can hear things and you’re very open. I hear a lot of stuff when I’m trying to change a tire or if I’m bending down. Changing a tire is the worst thing,” Basala said.

Basala says he has seen too many close calls in recent years and he attributes that to distracted driving, mainly texting.

“But if you do see a tow truck provider, a police department, please slow down and move over. That’s the biggest thing, we are trying to get across to people,” Basala said.

Steven Martonic from Sugarloaf Township owns Anytime Towing. He’s been in the business for three decades and remembers a call that was way too close for comfort.

“I was laying underneath the vehicle hooking up the chains. We heard a screeching noise and the next thing you know a car was rolling over alongside of us. He could have hit us and took us right out,” Martonic said.

Martonic and Basala say they understand the risks that come with the job, but they insist those risks and dangers are increased when drivers simply don’t pay attention.

Local and state police say they will be out in force this holiday weekend to help keep everyone safe.

Copyright 2019 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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