Frank Ingram’s death marks the 14th tow truck operator killed across the country this year and the third operator killed on the job in metro Atlanta since March.
WOODSTOCK, Ga. — Another tow truck operator was hit and killed on the job Thursday in metro Atlanta. This marks the third operator to be killed on the job since March.
Woodstock Police said just after 1 p.m. on Thursday, officers along with the Cherokee County Sheriff’s Office responded to the shoulder of I-575 between Sixes Road (exit 11) and Ridgeway Parkway (exit 9) for a pedestrian hit.
On scene, authorities found the owner of Ingram Towing and Impounding, Frank Ingram, on the ground. Woodstock Police said he was hit and killed by a passing car.
Ingram was operating a heavy-duty tow truck and was attempting to hook up a dump trump when he was hit.
“Yeah, it’s kind of hard to miss,” said Angela Roper, a board member of The Towing and Recovery Association of Georgia.
Roper said they advocate for tow companies and operators across the state. They know many of them personally.
“You know, we shouldn’t have to die trying to do our job,” Roper explained.
Despite the enormous tow truck and large dump truck along with a state law that requires drivers to move over a lane and slow down for first responders working along the roadway, Ingram was still run over.
“It makes me sick to my stomach. That’s the first reaction. I get really angry,” Roper said.
“Ingram’s death marks the 34th since January first for responders (hit and killed on roadways) nationwide. That is the 14th, tow truck operator to be hit and killed this year,” she added.
Of those 14 deaths, three have been across metro Atlanta.
Toby Bowden was hit and killed while cleaning up a crash on I-85 near Newnan back in March. The driver who hit Bowden was charged with DUI.
Just a few weeks later, Troy Simon was hit and killed while helping a stranded driver on the Connector in Midtown Atlanta.
“You know, I feel great sadness… for the responder community today, especially in Georgia,” Roper explained.
Roper said more people and agencies have to get involved in spreading awareness about the Move Over law.
Georgia’s Move Over Law says motorists traveling in the lane adjacent to the shoulder must move over one lane when emergency and utility vehicles are stopped on the side of the highway and operating in an official capacity.
Vehicles included in the law include all first responders (law enforcement, fire, EMS), utility vehicles, DOT vehicles, HERO Units and wreckers tending to an accident. The law is meant to keep officers AND traffic violators safe from crashes with passing cars.
The Move Over Law was passed in the aftermath of growing numbers of police, emergency technicians and Department of Transportation workers being killed during routine traffic stops, crash responses and highway construction projects around the nation.
Currently, more than 30 states have Move Over Laws on the books, with fines that range as high as a thousand dollars or more in some jurisdictions. The Move Over fine in Georgia can be up to $500.
National Move Over Day is on Saturday, October 21. It’s a day to bring awareness to the law.
As of Thursday night, Woodstock Police didn’t release any information on the driver who hit and killed Ingram or mention if charges would be filed.