OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – A tow truck driver was struck by a hit-and-run driver Wednesday night in southeast Oklahoma City while trying to secure a vehicle to his truck.
It happened on Sunnylane Road between SE 59th Street and SE 74th Street. Forty-seven-year-old Troy Stewart’s family was in tears explaining the situation as he is left with several broken bones and was in surgery Thursday after the incident. They said they are happy he’s alive, but they want to know who did this to him and drove off.
“I just really want the person who did this to come forward and admit their fault,” said Whitney Evans, Stewart’s daughter. “Slow down and move over. What if it was your loved one standing on the side of the road helping someone load their car, because they’re broke down or [changing] a tire.”
Breaking down into tears, Evans described her dad’s injuries to KFOR Thursday morning. A broken pelvis, tibia, two broken ankles and neck fractures are what Stewart is left to recover from after being hit by the car.
“How can you hit someone who means something to someone and leave them on the side of the road,” Evans said. “Seeing him in so much pain yesterday was really hard.”
Sgt. Dillon Quirk with the Oklahoma City Police Department said Steward was in the southbound lane closest to the curb. However, he was in the street trying to secure a vehicle on his truck when the car came by.
“He attempted to maneuver himself out of the way; sadly, he was struck by the vehicle,” Quirk said.
“He was there alone by himself and didn’t know if anyone was going to find him,” Evans said.
According to Stewart’s family, he was launched over 100 feet away from the scene. They also claim he wasn’t found until a police car drove by and found him lying on the ground. Stewart was only on the job for about a week when this happened.
“My drivers are complaining all the time,” said Robert Blankenship, the owner of R&R Towing and Recovery LLC. and Stewart’s employer.
Blankenship said close calls are nothing new to their industry. However, he said in his 17 years of business, none of his employees have been hit until now.
“Nobody’s got respect for anybody and until something is done, seriously, I don’t think anything is going to change,” Blankenship said. “Please have a little bit of respect. Move over. It’s a dangerous enough job as it is.”
Blankenship’s other employee Randall Burt echoed the same sentiment.
“People’s lives are at risk every time they’re outside of that vehicle,” Burt said. “For the fault of someone not paying attention, they almost took one of my brothers. They are my brothers in this industry. Almost took his life.”
Evans’s dad was in surgery Thursday afternoon. She said they are both hoping to find who did this soon.
“If you did this and it was a mistake, which everyone makes mistakes, accidents happen,” she said. “But please come forward, admit your faults.”
Police said they do not have a description of the vehicle that hit Stewart. Anyone with information is encouraged to call crime stoppers. As a reminder, Oklahoma has a law requiring drivers to slow down and try to move over when they see a disabled vehicle, or emergency on the side of the road. Reduce your speed and move over one lane whenever possible.