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Freezing rain leads to busy morning for tow truck drivers

By Kyle Benjamin, kbenjamin@wcyb.com
Published On: Jan 02 2014 03:54:37 PM CST
11W Bristol Wreck 1-2-14
SULLIVAN COUNTY, Tenn. -

Any time a weather event is predicted the staff at Carl's East End Services gear up for increase in business.

"We just try to make sure our trucks are ready,"said employee Donald Pierce.  "Check all our equipment, make sure we have tires properly inflated that our chains and everything we need to tow a vehicle are in proper working order."

Carl's has three rigs. Two rollbacks and one traditional tow truck. All 3 were on the road Thursday morning.

"Since about ten til 8 this morning we've been running back to back. The actual owner, Carl, is out on one now .They've kept us pretty busy this morning," said Pierce.

Carl was helping veteran tow truck driver Mike Green clear an accident on Highway 11-W. A truck towing a lift crashed into a hill on the side of the road.
"He's really good at what he does,"said Pierce. "Its pretty efficient. There's not a lot of time lost."

But there is a lot of ground to cover. Many calls are referred from the Sullivan County Sheriff's Office dispatch center.

"Hectic, very hectic,"said dispatcher Adam Walden. "It started at 6:45 this morning and it has been busy since."

Walden will work a 12- hour shift that covers the morning and evening commute.

" We've had about 94 wrecks in the past three hours," said Walden.

The Sullivan County Sheriff's Office said they answered 187 calls between 6 and 11:30 A.M Thursday. 148 of those were weather related.  The dispatch center usually handles around 200 in just one day.

Like anything in life, dealing with accident calls is all about priority.

" The accidents with injury {go first}.  Then later on we will get to the accidents without injury. People tend to get a little impatient, but we're here for everyone's safety and we've got to make sure the people that are injured get taken care of as soon as possible," said Walden.