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Tow drivers pleading for stiffer 'move over law' violations

Comes after driver killed on I-75
Posted at 6:04 PM, Oct 10, 2016

Troy McGuire, a tow truck driver, was killed while clearing a scene on I-75 early Sunday morning. Others in the towing industry are now calling for stricter penalties for those who violate the 'move over law'.  

Ginger Darling's been driving a tow truck for 35 years. Her heart sank Sunday when she learned a fellow tow driver had died on the job.

"I know the inherent risks that i take. Working on the side of the road and you feel a car whoosh by you and feel the back of your shirt flutter, it reminds you," said Darling, owner of Nationwide Towing.

The risks are also very real for Mary Bowman. She shares a teenage son with Troy McGuire and he inspired her to get into the towing business 15 years ago.

"My kid wants me to quit my job and get totally out of it because of what happened yesterday. Now he's afraid he's going to lose his mother the same way," said Bowman.

Gregory Miller is now charged with DUI manslaughter and DUI property damage for Troy McGuire's death.

While family and friends are devastated, they're glad Miller will face much stiffer penalties since troopers say he was drunk. They're still worried that just like in this accident, so many other drivers continue to fly by when they see flashing lights.

"Move over, and give us room to do our job , to help you, the public out," said Sgt. Steve Gaskins with Florida Highway Patrol.

If you're driving down the road, and you see you an emergency vehicle stopped on the side of the road, and you don't slow down or move over, that could only mean a $150 ticket, even if you hit or kill someone on the road.

"It would be a traffic violation, traffic infraction you'd be cited with. Mandatory court appearances would apply for serious bodily injury and/or death cases. But it doesn't turn into the criminal realm unless it's something like this weekend where we had a DUI involved," said Sgt. Gaskins.

With two tow drivers killed and a road ranger seriously hurt in crashes where drivers failed to move over in Tampa Bay this year alone, Ginger Darling and many others are calling for change.

"There's a law, but the law needs more teeth.  I'm going to tell you right now.  We need to put the fear of God into these people," Darling said.

Funeral arrangements for Troy McGuire are pending.  He leaves behind four children.  A crowd-funding page has been set up here to help them.