Memorial procession in Lancaster Co. to honor tow truck driver killed on the job

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EAST LAMPETER TWP., Pa. -- Tow truck drivers honored one of their own: Ralph Watrous II.

Watrous, 44, was a tow truck driver for Mack's Tire Service. He was on the side of Route 222 in West Earl Township, Lancaster County. He was getting ready to tow 46-year-old Robert Buckwalter Jr. broken-down car. Both of them were then hit by a car and killed.

William McNeill, the owner of Mack's Tire Service, said, "He's the glue to the company. He held everybody together. He's just an all-around great guy. We're gonna miss him dearly."

Watrous' family and friends drove through Lancaster County to remember him.

B.J. Root, one of Watrous' sons, said, "I'm going to miss him a lot. First parent I lost. It's hard to explain."

And following behind them were more than 100 tow trucks.

Dain Null, president of Null's towing, said, "When you look out and see how many trucks are here today and how many people are here to remember Ralph, I think it's a great thing."

Drivers by law are supposed to move over, or if they can't, slow down when they see an incident on the side of the road.

Tow truck drivers are used to dealing with close calls.

Jared Null said, "There's been numerous times in fact just this week that I've had my cones run over by cars as they're going by, and you can feel the air of their vehicles blowing by your body."

Daryl Fling, the president and owner of Fling's Towing Inc., said, "I came really close to losing one of my drivers, so I can feel the pain in the family."

But this one hit too close to home for all of them.

Dain Null said, "It could be either one of my sons. It could be me."

And they said it's important for people to know the dangers they face just doing their job every day.

McNeill said, "We just want to raise the awareness. Please slow down, please move over. All we're trying to do is help somebody else out. It could be you that we're trying to help out."


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