PANAMA CITY, Fla. (WMBB) — Whenever people think of first responders, the first that come to mind are law enforcement, firefighters, and EMS. But there’s a crew on crash scenes who often get forgotten, the tow truck operators.
“If there were no tow truck drivers, the road would never get cleared,” White’s Gulf Coast Wrecker Service Driver Dakoda Blount said.
And if there wasn’t a White’s Wrecker Service, local crash clearing might not go as smoothly– especially on Tuesday.
“We went from us leaving one scene to us going to another actual fatality scene and it was worse than the first one you know and that’s usually how it happens you know. You get one and it comes in threes,” White’s Gulf Coast Wrecker Service Operator Kennis Kerce said.
Tuesday’s rollovers included a semi tractor trailer in Jackson County, a dump truck in Southport and a fuel truck in Panama City.
White’s has the biggest tow trucks in town.
They’re the only towing company in the region that’s equipped to move the really large trucks or handle the unusual jobs, like the SUV and jet skis that were stuck on the beach Tuesday night.
Their most expensive truck can lift up to 150,000 pounds.
A loaded semi-truck can only legally weigh up to 80,000 pounds.
“It’s been hard sometimes with all of the accidents happening in one day, then just always working,” Blount said.
The crews not only lose a lot of sleep but also time with their families.
They put the community first and they are always willing to go the extra mile.
“Obviously cleaning up a crash scene, a fatal scene does include removing a deceased from the vehicle or near the vehicle,” Florida Highway Patrol Lieutenant Jason King said. “And without hesitation, they take on that responsibility knowing it’s a service to the family or service to the one that lost their life.”
Lieutenant King said they’re all very grateful for White’s and the other local towing services for all that they do.
“The passion of the job, you know,” Kerce said.
White’s Wrecker also offers the community free rides if they’re impaired to drive.
You can reach them at (850) 215-8695.