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Tow-truck procession honours driver killed in Saskatchewan crash
Published Saturday, March 18, 2017 5:00PM CST
Last Updated Saturday, March 18, 2017 6:50PM CST
Close to 100 tow trucks led a procession into the Town of Esterhazy on Saturday. It was all in memory of tow truck driver Courtney Schaefer, who died during a four-vehicle collision on highway 22 near the town during last week's blizzard. He had been out on the dangerous road, responding to a call.
Dallas Baillie of Baillie Boys Towing helped organize the procession. Tow truck drivers from across the prairies took part, with some travelling hours just to be there.
“In this industry, you have to learn to wash a lot of stuff away, and we're pretty tough guys on the outside, but we're soft on the inside,” said Baillie. “It's pretty amazing to see this today.”
Willy Cowan was close friends with Schaefer. The two spoke daily, despite working for competing companies.
“(He) was just a family man, just a down to earth guy (and a) little rough around the edges,” said Cowen. “He'd always give you a call and see if you needed help. If you were on call and he was going somewhere, he would text you and make sure that his area was looked after.”
Both Cowan and Baillie said members of the towing community are tight-knit, with everyone looking out for one another. But close calls happen all too often.
“We're not supermen. We're just family people. We're brothers, sisters, you know? That's someone's parent, someone's daughter (or) someone's son on the highway. Just please slow down,” said Cowan.
Drivers are also planning a demonstration on March 20 on Highway 1 to push the government to change tow truck lights from amber to red and to implement penalties for motorists who do not slow down or move over when passing tow trucks.