PHOENIX - A Department of Public Safety worker is recovering in the hospital after a truck slammed into his vehicle Friday morning at the San Tan Loop 202 and Gilbert Road.
Investigators say the DPS employee was working on the side of the freeway when the driver of a truck lost control. The crash killed the passenger in the truck.
The driver was taken to the hospital with serious injuries.
Detectives are looking at impairment as a possible cause, but they also think he may have violated the state's "move over law."
The law requires all drivers to give plenty of room any time they see an emergency vehicle with flashing lights on the side of the road.
The law was passed in 2005 and first only applied to police and fire trucks. It was expanded in 2011 to include tow trucks and any emergency vehicle.
We checked in with AAA Arizona to see how tow truck drivers stay safe on the roads in similar situations.
Jim Vollmer, a fleet manager, says his tow truck drivers put safety first. But some drivers just don't pay attention.
He's had his fair share of close calls while helping a driver along the side of the road.
"They're some scary moments out there when your cones get taken out. It's a little farther away then you think it is-- but to just have a cone taken out, someone's going too fast and not paying attention," he said.
He says tow truck drivers are always on alert, looking out for drivers not paying attention or cutting it too close.
"The driver's heads always have to be on a swivel. They have to be watching out, making sure they're safe," Vollmer said.
Nationwide, AAA says one tow truck driver is killed about every six days.
In 2008, a tow truck driver was hit and killed on the Loop 202 here in the Valley while helping a stranded motorist.
With over 12,000 calls a day-- mostly on the highway-- Jim doesn't want to see that happen again.
"People have to move over. Make lane changes if it's safe to do so, or just slow down till you get past that situation," he said.
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