More than 80 tow truck drivers honor driver killed

Posted at 5:26 PM, Feb 01, 2018
and last updated 2018-02-01 18:35:14-05

BIXBY, Okla. -- A tow truck driver hit by a semi truck last week was laid to rest. Jonathan Taylor's funeral was held at New Beginnings Baptist Church in Bixby Thursday. 

Taylor worked for Allied Towing as a heavy wrecker operator.

He was struck by a semi truck Friday afternoon while loading another semi truck onto a wrecker on the Will Rogers Turnpike near Claremore. 

More than 80 tow truck drivers met up before his funeral to drive there together. 

"It's a brotherhood," Nick Ragsdale, owner of Ragsdales Towing and Recovery in Spencer, Okla. "We all are a really close knit type family, so when there is a loss like this, even though we are 100 miles up the road, it's still close to him. It affects all of us." 

Drivers came from all over Oklahoma and even from surrounding states.

Not all of the drives knew Taylor, but they understand the danger that comes with having your office be the side of a busy road day after day. 

"It's scary honestly," Ragsdale said. "It really is. You never know. You spend just as much time with your head on a swivel as you do during the work you're doing." 

Ragsdale said their main goal is to get home safely to their families at night. Tragically, Taylor left behind a wife and three kids. 

"I can't imagine what would happen if I couldn't make it home to them," Ragsdale said. 

Oklahoma Highway Patrol said it is horrible that it takes an event like Taylor's death to make people aware of the importance of the "Move Over" law. 

It requires drivers to switch lanes when an emergency vehicle or tow truck is stopped with their lights on. If they cannot change lanes, they are supposed to slow down. 

Something simple, like obeying the "Move Over" law could save a life. 

"Slow down," Trooper Dwight Durant with OHP said. "Pay attention. Sit up straight and give us just a few seconds because that's all it's going to take for you to get by us." 

Taylor's memory is being honored by a black and yellow ribbon with a small chain on it worn on the shirts of the other drivers. 

"The fire department has the thin red line," Ragsdale said. "The police department has the thin blue line. We have the thin yellow line. The black is the pavement. The yellow line is the line there supposed to protect us and keep people in their lane away from us. The chain we have on there is representing JT's chains. We're now dragging them for him now that he's no longer here."

Click here to help Taylor's family.

Stay in touch with us anytime, anywhere.

Download our free app for Apple and Android and Kindle devices.

Sign up for newsletters emailed to your inbox. Select from these options: Breaking News, Severe Weather, School Closings, Daily Headlines and Daily Forecasts.

Follow us on Twitter

Like us on Facebook