Not trying to be a 1-upper, but couldn't let this one slide. Technically not in a parking lot, but stupidity reigned supreme nonetheless. A special note to all of those who have been in the towing industry - this is not an effort to stereotype all tow rig operators as one and the same, this one was special.
So last night, guys were called in for 10, one guy had a hard time getting in because the good ole OE was in full effect, and visibility as well as driving conditions were quite poor. He loaded up with salt, and headed out around midnight. My phone rings shortly thereafter.
Seems as though there was a CAA (Canada's AAA) truck trying to extract a vehicle out of a ditch. A homeowner on Hwy 3 (yes - King's highway) had tried to back out of their driveway, and missed the entrance entirely. The car was parked in the ditch, and the tow operator was attempting to extract the car from the homeowner's driveway, but misjudged his location. The tow truck was buried in the front lawn.
It seems as though this is where things turned for the worse. The homeowner assured the tow operator that the King's Highway #3 was not a very busy road, and so the tow operator proceeded to stretch his main drum cable over the highway and tied off to a tree on the other side of the highway. The homeowner would act as spotters for any potential oncoming vehicular traffic, and alert them of the cable drawn over the two lanes of the King's Highway #3.
It was at the time the tow operator was extracting his truck from the front lawn, with the cable drawn tight, that out of the heavy snowfall emerged the lights of a vehicle travelling down the highway at a generally reduced rate of speed. Rather than notify the driver of the approaching vehicle, or stay at their post of spotting on the road, the homeowner and her assistants fled the scene and hid in the house, alarmed by the potential imminent danger. At this point, my driver recalls that from amidst the heavy snowfall, the tow operator ran to the edge of the highway to attempt to alert him of the cable that was drawn over the highway. My driver begins to slow down, when suddenly the cable appears before him, drawn tight, about 18 inches over the surface of the road. It was at this point that Erie #88 performed a task like it had never done before, and catch the drawn cable like it was an F-16 fighter jet landing on the deck of the USS Eisenhower across the face of it's moldboard. It performed admirably, and successfully drew the plow truck from a speed of approx. 25 MPH to a complete stop.
Unfortunately, the F350 tow truck was not secure, and as a result of the impact into the cable, was catupulted from the front lawn and drawn into the passenger side of the plow truck. My driver said the image of the tow truck travelling towards him at a perpindicular motion to his forward travel was a haunting image, and one that certainly didn't register as a logical sequence of events. The resulting damage was primarily cosmetic, and the required information exchanged and/or obtained.
At my driver's request, I arrived on scene about 20 minutes later. The tow operator was visually shaken, and quite distraught. I assured him that give the circumstances, things could have ended much worse for him or someone else. Had a car stuck the cable, the resulting accident would have been tragic and horrific. Or had one of the DOT plows come by, as they do every 14-16 minutes approximately, as it is a provincially maintained King's Highway, it would have been quite possible that he would have been severly injured or killed. His decision at that point was to call it a night - probably not a bad idea. I spoke with his supervisor today (he called me), and it seems as though this tow operator will have a few extra days off for now.
It made for quite the entertaining story at the coffee shop this morning!
Lakeside Landscape Inc.
A few GMC's
A few plows and salters - Boss & Blizzard, Salt-Doggs & s/s v-boxes
Erie #22, #55, #88, #121, #127