He was working to pull someone out of the ditch and ended up getting thrown into the ditch.
William Hodgins, owner and operator of Southern Alberta Towing, was on scene Monday, Feb. 21, to pull someone out of the ditch on Highway 2 north of 658 Ave. E. (Township Road 174) near Cayley.
He was with the blocker truck setting up pylons to give the tow truck space to work when suddenly he was struck by an oncoming vehicle.
"I didn't really know what was going on cause it happened so fast, but I was hit from the side and kind of behind. And I guess I kind of went over the hood, but then when the car came to a stop in the ditch, it flung me about ten feet into the ditch and then into the snow."
His spouse and colleague Jodie Hennigar had honked a warning, but he didn't have enough time to react.
"As I looked back, there was a car coming at me. And I tried to run to get out of the way, but I couldn't move fast enough."
He suffered significant injuries, and he said EMS was surprised by how well he was doing considering how hard he was hit.
"My lip was ripped open. I had a piece of plastic from her car sticking in my left leg, and then my right leg hurt really bad. I thought maybe I had a slight fracture or something. I wasn't sure at the time. I was just doing a self-check."
Hennigar took him to the South Health Campus hospital in Calgary following the incident.
Aside from stitches on the inside and outside of his lip and the wound in his leg, he also had a concussion and severe bruising, but no broken bones according to the x-rays.
He's owned the towing company for over six and half years, and said he's had many close calls but that this was the closest.
Hennigar says every accident involving a tow truck driver could be prevented and hopes more will understand the law when it comes to passing emergency vehicles, including passing tow trucks.
"You're supposed to slow down to 60 kilometres, and honestly, you would be surprised at the amount of people that don't slow down and don't realize that there's actually a fine and a law when it comes to passing tow trucks with emergency lights on," said Hennigar.
Hodgins says they've been working with a group to advocate for tow trucks to have amber and blue lights, but that they haven't been able to get it passed in Alberta.
He says they have the blue lights in Saskatchewan and that they've helped, and they're still hoping to have them one day in Alberta.
In their Facebook post on their Southern Alberta Towing page, they thank the emergency crews that responded including EMS, the High River fire department, and the RCMP.
They also shout out the motorist who stopped to assist them.
When the High River RCMP was contacted for comment, they said there was no one available to speak with the media about the topic at the moment.