Tow trucks and their clients still busy the day after icy weather subsides

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SPRINGFIELD, Mo. A lot of the ice may have melted by mid-day Monday, but tow trucks were still busy picking up cars involved in weather-related mishaps over the weekend.

.People like Jeremy and Leanne Johnson, who didn't think they'd be needing a towing service "during the ice-pocolypse" as Jeremy put it.

They had made it home safely but then their 16 year-old daughter called, stranded less than a mile away.

"So we jump in our pilot to rescue her like a good dad," Jeremy recounted. "But we get stuck on the corner and so I have to army-crawl to my daughter another half-mile across Sunshine."

Jeremy got his daughter back safely, but when he started driving his car back home, he "hit the ice, like pinball, ricocheting off of some brick mailboxes. And now we get to utilize a local towing company."

The Johnsons got off better than most as the right front wheel was jammed against the tire well and there was damage to the steering column. And no one was injured.

"You really can't put a price tag on safety," Jeremy said with a smile. "But you can come close. We're about to see what that price tag is."

Terry Harden, who owns Terry's Auto Service and Towing picked up the Johnson's car and about 50 others this weekend including even emergency responders.

"Had to pull the highway patrol out of a ditch at two o'clock in the morning," Harden recalled. "They were trying to get to somebody and couldn't get there and when in the ditch themselves. Had to pull them out. Had a fire truck we had to pull out in Strafford."

Harden worked almost 22 hours straight Saturday and Sunday picking up wrecked cars like these. And he said this weekend was worse than last weekend where there was that major pile up on Interstate 44.

"This weekend it was really thick and the roads were just really caked," Harden said. "People just thought it was really wet than it was ice. And when they got out there they couldn't do anything."

That's what happens when there's ice as opposed to snow on the roads. Even with a four wheel drive you can't do anything. As the Johnson's learned, the ice always wins.

"So Ice 1, Honda Pilot 0," Jeremy said."

And if you've ever seen those cars left out on the highway with stickers on them, that's done by law enforcement. And when they put stickers on those cars, the owners have 48 hours to come and get them or they will be towed. And the owners will them have to track them and pay the costs for their removal.

Harden says many owners just leave them abandoned.

"A lot of them don't ever come back after them," he said. "I got a lot full of 'em down there. We try to track 'em down but they find out that the car is not of real value, or they've got a lien on it, it's a whole different deal."

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