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Tow Truck Operator Hit, Killed In Elkin

Benny Gray Sprinkle died after being hit by a car on 268 West Bypass Saturday night in Elkin.

ELKIN, N.C. — A tow truck operator died Saturday night when he was hit and killed in Surry County.

59-year-old Benny Gray Sprinkle died after being hit by another driver on Highway 268 Bypass West, according to Surry County Emergency Services Director John Shelton. Shelton said the accident happened at 7:23 p.m. when Sprinkle was loading a disabled vehicle. 

Sprinkle was pronounced dead at the scene by first responders.

Tow truck drivers everywhere are on edge, acknowledging they have a dangerous job. According to the U.S. Department of Labor, tow truck operators have one of the most dangerous jobs. 

Greensboro operator Shawn Scott says the tow truck community is a brotherhood. 

"It’s a brotherhood is not just a job we do this as a brotherhood, one of us falls we all fall," Scott said. "There's a saying when we lose a driver we say ‘we’ll drag the chains from here,’ so its just a brotherhood."

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The case is being investigated by the Elkin Police Department and the North Carolina State Highway Patrol. 

The 'move over law' was made to protect tow truck operators along with police, fire and EMS. The ‘move over law’ requires drivers to move into another lane if crews are on the side of the road working. If you can’t move over, the law requires that you at least slow down. Scott says more often than not – people don’t follow this law.

"People have to slow down and move over, we’re out here constantly on the side of the roadways and highways and with these lights on and vests, and people don’t have the decency to slow down or move over at all."

Move Over Law

Scott says he wants tow trucks to have blue lights rather than yellow lights so drivers take them more seriously. 

"I actually am writing a letter to Governor Cooper about it, not just to increase the penalties, but to enforce it and to talk about us getting hopefully blue lights," Scott said. "If we can just activate them on the highways to help us out a little even working wrecks in the city, you still have people who don’t slow down and pull over."

It's unclear at this time if the driver who hit Mr. Sprinkles will be charged. 

Please check back for updates.

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