Oregon tow truck operators converge on Roseburg to honor fallen driver – NRToday.com

Oregon tow truck operators converge on Roseburg to honor fallen driver – NRToday.com

Tow truck operators came from all over the state and beyond Sunday — because of Henry Alan Lichtwald, the Walt’s Towing tow truck operator who lost his life while clearing a disabled vehicle on Interstate 5 on Nov. 3.

Shortly before 11 a.m., tow trucks began arriving at the parking lot of the former Kmart in Roseburg — an endless procession, it seemed, until nearly 65 trucks filled the parking lot.

The event was to show solidarity and once again call for stronger measures to protect drivers, in addition to Oregon’s “Move Over” law. After a brief time to meet and sign photos of Lichtwald, tow truck operators moved out in a solemn procession that stretched over an estimated 3 miles, Trucks with flashing lights, from companies as far south as Medford and far north as Portland, traveled along Northwest Edenbower Boulevard, before turning north on Northeast Stephens Street before coming to a rest on the 129 interchange.

Halfway through the procession, four trucks who had traveled from a tow company in Ridgefield, Washington, joined the procession in progress.

Just before 11 p.m. on Nov. 3, Lichtwald, 63, of Roseburg, was responding to a crash on the southbound side of I-5 near milepost 126 when police say a commercial motor vehicle collided with Lichtwald and his tow truck. Lichtwald died at the scene.

The driver of the tractor-trailer, Jagraj Singh Sidhu, 54, of Abbotsford, British Columbia, immediately pulled over and cooperated with the investigation, according to police.

Steve and Tinnia Porter own S&T Towing & Recovery, a one-truck business in Eugene. For Sunday’s event, they shut down their business.

“This means a lot to us because we’re trying to get the message out to people, not just the people with towing but everybody on the road,” Steve Porter said. “Simple fact is if you see the lights, move over and slow down. It’s that simple. It’s not hard. It takes five seconds of your time to save somebody’s life.”

They weren’t the only ones.

“Good luck on getting a tow in Eugene/Springfield,” said Greg Coakley, manager for S&M Towing in Eugene.

Steve Porter presented a Tow Lives Matter flag to Teresa Allen, operations manager for Walt’s Towing.

Modeled after similar flags for police and firefighters, the flag was created to bring awareness to Slow Down, Move Over laws.

After the procession, a smaller group of drivers gathered at the site of Lichtwald’s death for a brief memorial.

Editor’s Note: Donovan Brink contributed to this story.

Mike Henneke can be reached at [email protected] or 541-957-4208. Follow him on Twitter @ihenpecked.

Source: https://www.nrtoday.com/news/local/oregon-tow-truck-operators-converge-on-roseburg-to-honor-fallen-driver/article_157f86b1-f9a1-5033-8cef-b0665c5e68a3.html

Tow Truck