Dubuque County tow ban leaves many cars stuck in ditches - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Dubuque County tow ban leaves many cars stuck in ditches

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by Jamie Grey

DUBUQUE COUNTY (KWWL) -- Some drivers in Dubuque County who went off the road in Saturday night's storm were just getting their cars back Sunday. A county-wide tow ban was in effect until around 4:00 p.m. Sunday, creating a backlog for many tow companies.

Tow truck drivers say tow bans are enforced by law enforcement to protect tow truck drivers, officers, and passing traffic when road conditions are bad.

Towing companies say dozens of people needed towing services Sunday. During the tow ban, the sheriff's department cleared towing in some places where cars were blocking traffic, but most had to wait to get pulled out.

Adam Arling owns A&B Automotive. He was only able to tow a few cars during the ban. While he waited for the county to lift the ban, more calls kept coming in.

One family that had to wait for the ban to be lifted went off the road when they were headed home after an Iowa basketball game.

"They'd put some salt down, but once we hit one of the lesser traveled roads, we hit some ice pretty fast that looked like it was just a wet highway. Did some spinning around, ended up in a ditch... And it's bad," Mike Meyer said.

"This one's pretty amazing. If you look over here in this area, you can see the entry point of where the vehicle came in, they were probably sliding coming off the corner, hit this area, which is just a soft snow bank, but ending up going airborn probably ten, twelve feet in the air," Arling said while assessing the accident.

The nearby homeowner heard the wreck from inside.

"They kind of landed on the bushes, I think if they hadn't hit the bushes, they'd have kept going down the ravine and really gotten hurt."

Arling said the accident would take about 30 to 45 minutes to clear up.

"They'll just shut the road down for that half hour, 45 minutes, so people'll just have to be patient and we'll get it out as quick as we can," Arling said.

Meyer said his mother broke her hand and others had minor cuts and bruises. He said his family has been pondering whether making the trip to Iowa City was a good idea.

"We were debating that...Yeah... We got to see a good basketball game, but it ended in a not so good manner," Meyer said.

Tow truck drivers say while roads themselves are dangerous, the real hazard is drivers going too fast while clean up efforts are underway. They want you to slow down if you see orange lights.

Online Reporter:  Jamie Grey
Online Producer: Mike Verlo

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