Driver charged after hitting tow operator on Ottawa highway

Ottawa, Ontario — September 3, 2015 — Ottawa police have charged a 19-year-old woman after she hit a tow truck driver on Highway 417 last week.

Zoya Flick of Smith Falls has been charged for having improper tires, CBC News reports. Police say the offence, combined with rainy conditions, played a part in the August 26 crash—leaving Abbas Kadir in critical condition.

The 46-year-old Jonny’s Towing owner remains in hospital, suffering life-threatening multi-system trauma after he was struck while responding to a two-vehicle collision in the highway’s eastbound lanes near Palladium Drive.

“He’s starting to breathe on his own now,” Kadir’s son, Jon, who co-owns the business with his father, told CBC on Tuesday. “The surgeries went well, everything’s good, we’re hoping for the best. It’s just a matter of time now until he wakes up.”

Over 50 tow operators held a rally in Kadir’s honour on August 30, making a police-escorted drive from the scene of the incident to the Civic Hospital, where they honked their tow truck horns and flashed their lights. Event organizers also hoped to raise awareness of the province’s Move Over law, put in place to protect roadside workers. The legislation was recently amended to include tow trucks, taking effect September 1.

Ontario motorists who do not slow or down or move over when approaching a parked tow truck with its amber lights flashing face a fine ranging from $300 to $1,000 and three demerit points. First offenders will be charged around $490.

“I think the new rule that came out, I think most of us will feel more protected,” Jon said in the report. “It’s just too bad that drivers out there have to be disciplined to respect our lives.”

According to CTV News, police are using the incident to remind motorists to replace tires when the tread is less than 1.5 millimeters deep or when tread-wear indicators make contact with roadways. Vehicles weighing in at over 4,500 kilograms need to replace their front tires more frequently, and must switch them out when the tread is less than three millimeters deep.

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