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Tow-truck antics 'will cost lives'

2012-07-12 10:52

GETTING IN THE WAY? Tow truck operators are accused of blocking off accident scenes and hampering emergency workers' efforts to reach them.

Tow-truck drivers are making it impossible for paramedics and other emergency services to perform their duties, with emergency workers claiming the drivers frequently block their access to accident scenes.

Xander Loubser, industry manager of a private ambulance service,  said: "I was at a community meeting last week where the fire brigade pertinently stated that tow-trucks are clogging accident scenes. At some point it's going to cost someone their life."

Loubser and his team were at an accident scene recently where a car had left the Mabopane highway and crashed into a ditch.

ALLEGATIONS FLY

"My ambulance had to stop quite a distance from the scene because tow-truck drivers had blocked access," Loubser said.

A few minutes after the ambulance left the scene its as recalled, Loubser said, because a second car had crashed into the ditch after the driver collided with a tow-truck belonging to Accident Assist. Company spokesman Vincent Tierney said its vehicle's orange roof lights were on and cones had been placed on the road to cordon off the scene.

Frikkie Gouws, Life Med marketing manager, alleged that private ambulance services paid tow trucks to barricade accident scenes until their ambulances arrived.

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