Tow companies and first responders came together Friday evening in Helena, to “light up the night” in memory of two tow truck drivers who were killed in a recent crash near Columbus.
The Montana Tow Truck Association organized memorial events for Casie Allen and Nick Visser in eight cities across the state.
In Helena, 11 tow companies brought their trucks to the Lewis and Clark County Fairgrounds. They were joined by firefighters, law enforcement and transportation workers from around the area. All turned on their vehicles’ lights to show their support.
Allen and Visser were trying to get a disabled vehicle out of a ditch on Interstate 90 last Saturday when they were struck by a passing vehicle. Road conditions were icy at the time of the crash.
Jim Dusenberry, a member of the Montana Tow Truck Association board, said the goal of these memorials is to drive home the importance of “slowing down and moving over,” to be safe around service vehicles and emergency responders on the highway.
“All of us that work in the ditch, whenever there’s an accident or a road impediment, we’re there,” he said. “We lost two of our brothers, and this is our way of showing solidarity and strength.”
Dusenberry said, for every 10 mph of speed, drivers should keep one-and-a-half car lengths between them and the vehicle in front of them. In icy conditions, he said they need to add another length to be safe.
Dusenberry said other memorial events took place in Great Falls, Butte, Missoula, Kalispell, Bozeman, Dillon and Circle.