LYNCHBURG, Va. (WDBJ7)-- Tow truck operators at Bee Line Transport in Lynchburg are gearing up for a busy weekend.
During December’s snowstorm, the towing company estimates they received more than 100 snow related calls. On the heels of another storm, the team is urging people to stay off the roads.
Jeremy Okes is just one of several operators who are planning to field the calls and help people who are stuck in the snow.
“Some people have to go to their job, just go slow,” said Okes. “It doesn’t matter if you’re going 25 miles per hour down 460.”
Okes has responded to more calls than he can count, but one inclement weather call sticks out.
Ice covered the roads unexpectedly on the morning of December 17th, 2016. Okes was on the 29 Expressway in Lynchburg tending to a broken down car, when his day changed in an instant.
"I just remember the metal hit- and then all of a sudden I was backwards and I was lying in the grass,” said Okes.
A driver glided over a patch of ice while trying to move over and hit his truck. The impact threw Okes over the guardrail, ripped his shoe off and left him with torn muscles in his chest and legs.
Okes was taken to the hospital on a stretcher, but everyone ended up being okay.
Regardless, the incident served as a reminder of how dangerous the roads can be during cold weather.
During snow storms his team has to drive, but safety is always a top priority. Drivers have to wear reflective gear, they put chains on the tires and share tips in the morning meeting.
"Maybe work for 60 seconds, assess the situation...keep eyes behind you,” said Okes.
According to Okes, not much could have prevented his incident and his biggest take away for drivers is already written in to law: Move Over.
"If you can't move over, just please slow down,” said Okes. “That's why it's slow down move over. You slow down first and then if it's safe move over."
According to Bee Line, their rates are increased during snow storms.