SPRINGFIELD, Mo. -- Organizers of the funeral procession for a local tow truck driver killed after he was struck on U.S. 65 in Springfield say they expect more than 100 tow trucks from around the country to be on hand to pay their final respects on Saturday.
Timothy Williams, an Affordable Towing driver, died February 7 after another driver hit him during a call. He was 55-years-old and just one-day short of his 56th birthday.
Visitation is at Greenlawn Funeral Home North on Friday from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. Family and friends will remember Williams Saturday at a memorial at Freedom City Church on Division Street at noon. Burial will follow at Greenlawn Memorial Gardens.
A procession for the family and tow trucks will be after the funeral from the church to Greenlawn Memorial Gardens.
“Heavy” tow truck drivers arriving are asked to park along the outside lane of westbound Commercial Street, north of Division. There is also on-street parking on northbound Boonville south of Division. “Light or Medium” tow truck drivers arriving Saturday are asked to park in the east parking lot at Cox North (Benton and Division).
The procession route will then go west on Division to West Bypass. The trucks will then travel south on W. Bypass to James River Freeway (U.S. 60) and head east. The route will then travel to U.S. 65 and head north to I-44. Trucks will then head west on I-44 to Glenstone and take that north to Valley Water Mill and Greenlawn Memorial Gardens. Drivers are asked not to enter the cemetery, but to have an alternative plan to turn and head back to I-44 or Norton Road.
Funeral procession organizers from Affordable Towing said they are overwhelmed by the outpouring of support and the many tow services that are sending representatives to accompany Williams to his final resting place.
"We're going to have anywhere from two miles to four miles of tow trucks," said Affordable driver and procession organizer Reuben Carver. "I'm at a loss for words for it."
"We've got people coming in from New Jersey and Kentucky," added Affordable General Manager Christie Engle. "Everybody has touched our hearts. But it's great to see how the towing community in Springfield alone has come together. People who you'd think were your worst enemies are coming together to help you out when you need 'em."
"Nationwide it doesn't matter what state you're in or what company you drive for, we're all brothers," said Michael Phillips, an Affordable Driver-Manager.
The general public is invited to pay their respects along the route.
"Stay on the side of the road, hold a flag up, just show their respects to the family and to Tim," Engle said.
As you would imagine it's been a tough week for Williams' fellow employees at Affordable Towing adjusting to life without him.
"The thing I miss about Tim is he'd always walk in and put a smile on your face," Carver said.
But now the first driver for the company to lose his life on the job is a somber reminder of what dangers all these employees face.
"We've had guys refuse calls because they're scared to get out on the freeway," Carver said. "It's in the back of all of our minds. When we kiss our wife and kids good-bye we don't' know if we're coming back."
MoDOT released these maps below.