No snow days for mid-Missouri tow truck drivers

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COLUMBIA - Many schools and businesses closed Thursday, but mid-Missouri tow truck drivers were busy doing a dangerous job. 

"If it’s slick outside you know it’s going to be busy because people are going to slide off the road," tow truck driver Michael Hartman said. 

According to Missouri State Highway Patrol Troop F, the icy conditions caused 15 accidents in mid-Missouri as of 2 p.m. on Thursday.

"You never know what you’re getting ready to see when you get to any call," Hartman said. "It could be just a fender bender or you might pull up on a fatality. So, you’ve always got to prepare for the worst."

Hartman usually works alone, which can sometimes be challenging. He had to cut some trees with a chain saw to free a truck that slid off of U.S. 63 Thursday in addition to pulling the truck up the hill to get it onto the truck. 

"For the most part, once you learn how to do it, you just get out there and do it," Hartman said. "You’ve got other drivers who are busy, so if you don’t have the manpower, you just get out there and do it yourself."

Hartman works at Carl's Towing and Recovery in Columbia and he said he doesn't mind missing out on snow days.

"Whenever it snows, that means dollar signs to me," he said. "If I was going to take a day off, I would want it to be nice and warm."

Hartman loves his job, but he said he wishes people would understand how dangerous his job really is. 

"When we’re on the side of that highway and people are whizzing by us at 70 or 80 miles per hour less than a foot away from us, it gets nerve-wracking," he said.

Hartman said he's a daredevil, but at the end of the day, he wants what regular people want. 

"We’ll kind of get mad every once in a while and we’ll point someone over into another lane because we don’t want to get hit," he said. "At the end of the day, we’d like to go home."