Tow driver sends message to drivers after nearly losing life in I-80 accident

Published: Dec. 19, 2017 at 5:11 PM CST
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A tow truck driver was spared his life after a bad accident while on the job. Tow truck driver Larry Miller was hooking up to a broken down semi when a Ford F-150 drifted over onto the shoulder. The truck scrapped alongside the trailer and the semi-tractor, struck the tow driver, and continued scraping alongside the tow truck.

Miller spoke to 6 News Tuesday from his hospital bed. He said, "We're always out there, on the roads, and people do not pay attention."

Larry owns Neff Towing and in his 50 plus years on the job nothing like this has ever happened to him.

"Not to me, no. Not to me, but I've had some friends that got killed,” he told 6 News.

Miller was helping the driver of a broken down semi-truck and trailer at I-80 eastbound and Q Street when he was struck. As soon as he was hit, Miller asked the semi driver to remove his work boot.

"And he said, 'I don't know if I want to do that.' I said, 'Well, if my foot's in there, it isn't going to make a difference if you pull it off, or whoever pulls it off, so he did, and I mean, the blood was just going all over."

The next thing Larry remembers is hearing one of the medics inside the ambulance say: "’We are losing him quick!' I said, ‘No. Before you guys leave here, with me, I want my son, here, and my daughter, if this is the case.’"

"We lost my mom, 10 years ago, to cancer, and dad's all we have left,” said Larry’s daughter Londa Miller. Londa says she is grateful for everyone who helped save his life.

Miller’s leg is broken and his ankle is shattered. Doctors still don't know whether they'll be able to save his leg. But his life was spared and for that, Larry too, is grateful.

"Why am I still here? The good Lord is not ready for me,” said Miller.

He leaves drivers with this message: "Slow down! Slow down. When they see lights flashing along the shoulder or road. It makes no difference if it's a state truck, utility truck. If the lights are flashing, they're there for a reason."

Police say the accident is still under investigation. OPD Traffic Unit Officer Kelly told 6 News the driver of the pickup, 73-year-old Peter Lahti, will likely be cited, but that’s still pending.