Crash Responder Safety Week, tow truck driver describes dangers

SAUKVILLE, Wis. - Crash Responder Safety Week takes place each November, reminding everyone how to protect workers who help others after a crash.

FOX6 News rode along with one crash responder Saturday, Nov. 18 to see what crews face on a day-to-day basis.

"You can see, I got my lights on," described Paul Krauska, owner of Eddie's Service. "Theoretically, that guy should’ve merged to the right – and they have plenty of space to do it."

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A regular day at work for Krauska means risking his safety to help tow vehicles after a crash.

"Sometimes I am in the lane of traffic," he said. "We’re trying to do our job to make it safe for you to pass through, and we can’t do that if you guys are going too fast."

<div>Paul Krauska</div>
Paul Krauska

Krauska said it's not just speeding drivers that cause concern. Even though it is required by law, he said moving over for response vehicles is not a rule many people follow.

"I think they are always just in a rush to get to their destination," he said.

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According to the Wisconsin Department of Transportation, five crash responders were killed and 326 were hurt while on duty in 2022. Krauska said he has had some close calls.

"I had my bed already down to pull a car out of the ditch," he said. "The lady lost control, and she slid sideways up the bed on my truck when it was down."

<div>Eddie's Service</div>
Eddie's Service

This year's Crash Responder Safety Week is a reminder that it's everyone's responsibility to help keep people like Krauska safe.

"We’re just asking you to slow down, pull to the left or the right," he said.