Admit it, you’ve at least imagined what it’d be like to try to launch your own car off the back of a rollback tow truck just like so many classic Dodge Chargers were sent skyward in the Dukes of Hazzard. But we bet you never thought of hitting an epic jump by accident—or, worse, not sticking the landing. Unfortunately for one driver passing through Lowndes County, Georgia last week, that’s exactly what happened. The driver was speeding down the GA 38/U.S. 84 highway when they came upon the scene of an accident and seemingly didn’t see or notice the sea of emergency vehicles or, more critically, the rollback tow truck set to begin its recovery of a crashed vehicle.
Maybe the driver was distracted by the crash scene on the opposite side of the highway’s grass median, maybe they just weren’t paying attention, period. Either way, their car struck the tow truck—whose load ramp was lowered such that it created that mythical, made-for-TV-style “ramp”—without slowing down or trying to swerve to avoid it.
The car was carrying enough speed to nearly clear the cab of the tow truck, though it obliterated headache rack and signal lighting, not to mention its own front bumper and hood. It’s almost a good thing the car was moving so fast, as the tow truck driver was standing in front of the rollback when the crash happened; were it moving any slower, the car could have fallen on the operator.
On the other hand, that speed wasn’t so great for the inattentive driver. If you want to know just how much speed this car was carrying, after hitting the tow truck/ramp, it flew 120 feet before landing back on the road, according to the Georgia State Police report of the incident, and then struck another car in the rear and ended up another 23 feet away.
While a Lowndes County deputy was struck by some of the debris from the car launching off the rollback, no one else was hurt outside of the car, though we also don’t know if there was anyone in the other car that was rear-ended during the re-entry phase. The driver of the Charger stand-in, however, was taken to the hospital for apparently serious injuries sustained from the crash. For now, the driver hasn’t been charged, and no other information about them or their condition has been released, but let this serve as a reminder: If you’re approaching emergency vehicles—or any stopped vehicles, for that matter—pay attention, slow down, and give space.
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