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Thursday, December 16, 2010

Everyday VA Tow Hero Honored!

Here's the story from fredricksburg.com:

A tow truck driver with Anytime Towing in Ladysmith was honored tonight with the Life Saving Award for his heroic actions that saved two lives on Halloween morning.
Sheriff Tony Lippa presented T.K. Loving, 36, of Hanover, with the award during a dinner at Timbers Restaurant.
Sheriff Tony Lippa and Major Scott Moser present T.K. Loving with the Life Saver Award Wednesday night.
Lippa, who said he is a former tow truck driver, said he knows the dangers of that job and thanked Loving for his heroic actions that not only saved his own life, but the life of someone else.
Loving was responding to a AAA call around 4:3o a.m. on Oct. 31 to tow a vehicle that had broken down on I-95, halfway between the Ladysmith and Thornburg exits.
That’s when a vehicle drove off the main road and struck Loving  and the customer he was helping as they stood on the northbound shoulder.
The crash left Loving and Robyn Silcox, 20, of Stafford with serious injuries. The driver of the vehicle drove off.
Silcox, a 2008 Stafford High School graduate and a junior at Old Dominion University, is recovering from serious injuries to her hand and arm and has more surgery planned.
She credited Loving with spotting the oncoming vehicle before it hit them, managing to mostly push her out of its path and saving her life.
In an earlier interview with the Free Lance-Star, Loving said he reacted as anyone would, and gave the credit to the rumble strips.
“I heard the rumble strips. The rumble strips pretty much saved me and her,” Loving said.
When he heard tires crossing over the strips, embedded in the pavement to alert drivers they are straying from the road, “I looked up, saw headlights, and grabbed her,” Loving said.
The impact shattered Loving’s right ankle and tore his Achilles tendon. He is not allowed to put any weight on his foot, and is using crutches. He will need surgery and physical therapy.
Loving has been a tow- truck driver for Anytime Towing for three years, and said most of his work is on I-95. Until that day, he’d never had a close call with passing traffic.
When he responded to Silcox’s call, Loving said he parked his tow truck on the grass, putting the entire northbound shoulder between him and the right travel lane of I-95.
“It’s not like I was close,” Loving said.
He suspects the driver may have mistaken the shoulder for a travel lane.
Loving will receive worker’s compensation for a portion of his salary, but said he could be out of work for six months. Loving’s wife is a stay-at-home mother to their four children, including a 4-month-old.
“It’s going to be a struggle. I’ll have to figure something out,” Loving said.
The driver of the dark blue 2008 Chevrolet Cobalt or Pontiac G5  fled the scene without stopping, and has yet to be located.
Anyone with information about the crash or vehicle is asked to call the Virginia State Police Area 44 Office in Caroline County at 804/633-6799 or e-mail the office at area44@vsp.virginia.gov.

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