Sunday, January 14, 2007

1st Life/Tow Truck driver Rescuer Bud

My truck blew a fan belt on a bridge in Tampa so I had to call AAA to get a tow truck to come and haul me to a service station about 10 miles away.
Yada-yada-yada.
The wrecker arrives and the guy driving the truck is named Bud and I can tell that Bud's a true veteran of the roadways--a grizzled road warrior, if you like. Bud's wearing jeans, a work shirt, a baseball cap and many, many years of experience on his face.
At one point Bud tells me to step clear of the road because, after all, we're on a busy bridge, and to illustrate his point, he lifts his shirt and shows me a bulge with some scar tissue around it and tells me that's where his spleen used to be. (!) He then informs me that he has been hit at least three times while tending to motorists. (!!!)
So I stand way off to the side as Bud continues to load my vehicle.
Once we're rolling, Bud tells me a few years ago someone actually died after clipping his truck--the guy had been traveling over 100 mph!--and Bud was thrown from the impact but luckily not injured (he had been standing just outside his wrecker), and when he came upon the carnage a few moments later he saw to his amazement the dead guy's girlfriend tossing beer bottles out the window, her side of the vehicle having suffered not a scratch. When she saw Bud, she started to scream--the shock beginning to wear off.
Another time an old man careened into Bud's wrecker and sent Bud to the hospital with multiple injuries (and the spleen removal). Bud says the yellow lights on wreckers are barely adequate as motorists barely pay attention to them--let alone elderly and drunk people--and that his job is considered one of the most dangerous in America.

I made sure to tip Bud upon arrival!

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