Friday, August 22, 2008

A Hazard of Being a Tow Truck Driver in the South

Here's the East Volusia News (FL) story:

Reptile deters wrecker driver's recovery effort

DAYTONA BEACH -- A sport utility vehicle plunged into a pond near the golf course at Indigo Lakes early Thursday morning after the driver lost control of the vehicle and ran off Interstate 95 just north of International Speedway Boulevard, a witness said.

The driver of the SUV and his passenger escaped the sinking vehicle through the sunroof and were uninjured, according to Holly Hill tow-truck driver Adam Balboa.

Balboa of Arrow Wrecker Service said the crash occurred before dawn Thursday and Florida Highway Patrol troopers called him to the scene to remove the vehicle.

Balboa arrived at the scene about 8 a.m. and prepared to begin fishing the vehicle out of the murky water when he noticed two alligators on the surface.

"They looked pretty big," Balboa said. "They (FHP investigators) called the trappers and . .( ) we were able to go in the water and bring up the truck."

Balboa said the SUV was extremely heavy because it was so inundated with water.

Trappers killed the 8-foot-long gator recovered from the water, Balboa said.

More details about the crash and the victims' identities were not available Thursday night.

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