Towing and Recovery: An inside look into the life of a tow trucker driver

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POSTED: Friday, May 2, 2014 - 12:00pm

UPDATED: Friday, May 2, 2014 - 3:25pm

They're the men and women who will boot your car if you're parked illegally, or worse, you could get towed. They're also the people that clear the road after accidents.

Wreck... after wreck... after wreck, drivers in Baton Rouge see their share of them.

"Yes, Baton Rouge does have some of the top of worst drivers," said tow truck driver Nelson Cline.

Statistically, that's true. According to a recent report, Louisiana has the worst drivers in the country.

"Whenever we're working scenes, you may have people who may even try to cut through the accident scene, just don't care. They just don't care about it," said tow truck driver Regional Stewart.

For local tow truck businesses like Roadrunner Towing, business is booming because of it.

"So that's a lot of people's insight about 'Oh, well you're just trying to get my car cause you want my money. No, that's not the fact , we're here to get it because we have a contract with the city police," Cline said.

"A lot of people feel like we're just out there digging in their pockets for their money," said tow truck driver Laura Emanuel.

"The public doesn't know what we do on a daily basis other than they see us just towing their cars," Cline said.

You'll see Roadrunner Towing at most of the accidents that happen in Baton Rouge because they're the official towing company for BRPD.

"If they call we come. Whether it's an accident, whether it's no insurance, whether it's a flat tire, that's our job," Stewart said.

On this job, they've seen a lot.

"There's some cars that you would actually look at and wonder,'Did they really make it?' There's some cars you could look at in this lot and they actually walked away from, with just minor injuries," Stewart said.

But some scenes aren't easy.

"Here I've seen fatalities to where texting and driving... young lady actually lost her life behind texting and driving, looking at the phone, veering off the road," Stewart said.

For Laura Emanuel, she's been doing this for more than a decade. In her 14 years in the business, there's one accident that sticks out the most.

"January 19th 2008, the day before my son's birthday, I watched them pull an 8-year-old boy out of a car in pieces," Emanuel said. "So, every time I go to an accident I get concerned and chilled. It's like, you know, that could have been my family member there."

It's tough, but for these drivers, it's life. It's not always sad.

"I have a passion for helping people, and when you're doing this, you really are helping someone," Stewart said.

Roadrunner Towing has been serving our area for more than 40 years. The business started with just one truck, and now they have a full fleet of 15.

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