The wife of tow truck driver who was killed while parked on the shoulder of the I-10 is making an emotional plea for stronger enforcement of the ‘Move Over Law.’
According to AAA, California law requires drivers to slow down and vacate the nearest lane to give safe clearance to an emergency response vehicle flashing emergency lights, if safe to do so. (Including tow trucks and Caltrans vehicles if displaying flashing amber warning lights.)
Jon Israel, 50, was dealing with mechanical issues on his tow truck and was parked on the right shoulder of the I-10, west of Haugen Lehmann Way Tuesday morning. According to CHP, as Israel was re-entering his truck, he and the door were struck by a big rig. Israel was thrown from the side of his truck onto the slow lane.
Israel was an avid advocate of the 'move over law'. His wife says he was collecting signatures on a petition advocating for stricter enforcement. It was one of his last public Facebook posts.
“Every 6 days, a tow truck driver loses his life because nobody moves over, and if me losing my husband can help me help everybody get this law so it’s just as important as talking on your cell phone, then it was worth it, because that’s what he wanted,” Maxine Israel, Jon's wife told KESQ & CBS Local 2.
Anthony Polston is a fellow tow truck driver helping coordinate a local ’Spirit Ride’ on August 28 in Jon’s honor. It is part of a larger-national procession aimed to promote the "Move Over Law."
“We’re working so hard to try to bring this event through our valley to raise awareness and then for it to happen so close to the date that we’re going to be doing this, yeah it’s very hard. It’s like we weren’t able to get this message out soon enough,” Polston said.
15 tow trucks were expected to attend the procession, but after Israel’s passing, that number has grown to 80 trucks.
“We were talking about me going, me and my son going, and now that's dedication to my husband because the law is not strict enough not enforced,” Maxine said.
Maxine says she is making it her mission to make a change in the law.
"I’ve made a vow to my husband. He will not die in vain. I will take this to the governor to the president of the United States to get something done because I do not want another family, another wife, or even a husband to have to go through this because they’re loved one was at work,” Maxine added.
A GoFundMe page has been started to help pay for funeral services. Click here to contribute.
Noticias en español: Telemundo 15