Tow-truck driver sees oddities, heartbreaks at accident scenes

Larry Wallace has seen his fair share of bad crashes. Many of the wrecked cars he tows end up here at Girardi’s tow yard on D Road. Photo by Le Roy Standish.

For almost 30 years Larry Walker drove a big rig across the western United States.

Two years ago, he changed careers.

Instead of an 18-wheeler, he now drives a tow truck and has pulled twisted metal from some of the most horrific accidents and odd traffic scenes in Mesa County.

“I pick ’em up,” he said.

Every accident is different, some more serious than others.

“You don’t find out until you get there,” he said.

Many of the nearly 50 cars stored here in a back lot at Girardi’s Tow and Heavy Haul, 3183 D Road, are being held pending police investigations, insurance issues or owner payment.

Some of the cars were abandoned and have no title, such as one mud-covered vehicle facing the rear fence.

“That one was pulled from the canal,” he said. “They didn’t find it until after the canal went down.”

A white minivan, torn nearly in half, was brought into the lot Monday. It was involved in an accident at Broadway and Monument Road and is now being held for the police.

The worst crash Walker said he has responded to happened last summer.

“I was so quick on response, and the body was still lying there,” he said. “The mother came up behind me and was just screaming. It was her daughter. To hear the heart-wrenching scream of ‘My daughter, my daughter ...’ ”

Tow companies are called by authorities to accident scenes on a rotating schedule. The yard at Girardi’s, surrounded by chain-link fencing and secured with a padlock, is just one of several in the Grand Valley.

This story first appeared as a Mobile Junction item online at on Friday.


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