SUV crashes into tow truck on Route 128 in Needham sending driver to hospital

NEEDHAM, Mass. — A tow truck driver is pretty banged up, but expected to survive, after being hit by an SUV in a four-car pile-up on Route 128 southbound in Needham.

George McGoldrick, owner of Watertown Towing, told Boston 25 News one of his drivers was called to fix a flat tire around 7:30 p.m. Wednesday when the driver’s worst nightmare became a reality.

“Someone just plowed right into the back of the tow truck, pushing the tow truck about 10 to 15-feet into the customer's car and struck the customer and the [tow] driver at the same time,” McGoldrick said.

The tow driver was rushed to Beth Israel Deaconess Hospital in Needham by ambulance.

“He's sore,” McGoldrick said, talking about his driver’s injuries. “He said even his fingertips hurt.”

State police called Roadside Rescue and Transport to remove the damaged Watertown Towing truck from the highway.

“We were responding to the scene with a lump in our throats, praying for the best,” Roadside Rescue and Transport’s president Michael Borelli said.

Both Borelli and McGoldrick are pleading with drivers to slow down and move over when they see emergency vehicles with their lights activated.

In Massachusetts, the Move Over Law has been on the books for a decade, aiming to make police, firefighters, paramedics, tow truck drivers and all roadside emergency and maintenance professionals safer on the job. The law requires drivers approaching a stopped emergency or maintenance vehicle with flashing lights to move to the next adjacent lane and slow down. Drivers can be fined up to $100 if they don’t comply.

According to Statewide Towing Association, a tow truck driver is killed on the job every six days.

“People have to pay attention all the time,” McGoldrick added. “If you're driving a car, drive the car!”

“This is something that has to stop,” Borelli said. “We are out there to help you. Please help us do our jobs safely.”

At the end of the day, tow drivers just want to get home to their families.

“Please, slow down,” said Borelli, as he fought back tears. “Move over. Give us the space to work. Our lives do depend on it.”

State police identified the driver of the SUV who caused the crash as Ashley Woolf, 30, of Stoughton. They charged her with negligent operation, marked lanes violations, failure to change lanes for an emergency vehicle and improper use of a mobile phone.