Tow truck driver survives being thrown '20 feet'

Posted at 10:03 PM, Mar 20, 2022

LEXINGTON, Ky. (LEX 18) — Speaking from his hospital bed, Ralph Crase makes it clear that people need to slow down and drive more carefully around emergency vehicles and tow trucks.

Crase, a nighttime supervisor with Robert’s Heavy Duty Towing and Recovery, says he was struck by a car early Saturday morning.

Lexington Police confirm a car went through a police barricade, struck a tow truck driver, and drove off before later being apprehended by police.

Crase’s boss, Lee Roberts, said he viewed a video where he can see Crase hitting the car’s windshield and being thrown 20 feet in the air.

Despite multiple injuries to his lungs, kidney and spleen, Ralph was able to speak with LEX18 Sunday after multiple surgeries.

“She hit me hard,” Crase said. “I thought I was going to die when I hit the ground.”

Going through his mind at the time, Crase said, was his daughters, “what are they going to do,” he said.

Accidents in the industry are too common, Roberts said. About 60 people in their profession die a year, Roberts added.

There are laws on the books that require people to slow down and move over for first responders, Roberts said.

“No matter what’s on the side of the road, slow down and move over. It’ll stop all of these,” he said.

Roberts is the co-chairman of a survivor’s fund for families of tow truck drivers who died while on the job. They’ve raised over a million dollars.

A link can be found here: Survivor Fund | International Towing Museum

A GoFundMe has been set up for Crase.