OSAGE BEACH, Mo. — Snow plow truck driver Christian Watts was clearing Highway 54 on Feb. 17, with a plow on the front and pulling a tow-plow behind, when a semi-truck collided with him.

According to a Facebook post by Watts, who released several images of the aftermath of the crash, the truck driver said he couldn't see the plow truck and didn't know he had a tow-plow (a plow being pulled behind the plow truck) in the lane the semi-truck was driving in. Watts said no one was injured in the crash.

Watts posted this on Wednesday:

"THIS IS WHY YOU DO NOT PASS A PLOW TRUCK OR DRIVE THROUGH THE SNOW WE'RE PLOWING OFF!!! Yes I'm ok, luckily no one was hurt . The semi driver said he couldn't see me and didn't know I had a tow plow in the driving lane that he was in due to all the blowing snow...please SLOW DOWN with these road conditions. Your destination is not anymore important than a persons life!! All we wanna do is do our job and go back home to our families!"

The Missouri Department of Transportation (MoDOT) urges drivers to never pass snowplows on the highway. MoDOT has these tips for drivers when they see a snowplow:

  • Give snowplows room to work; don’t tailgate or try to pass
  • A “strike team” may include several plow trucks, some with TowPlows and wing plows, and block all lanes on a major highway.  
  • Stay at least four car lengths back from snowplows and equipment.
  • Plowed snow can create a cloud that can blind drivers following too close. 
  • Spreaders on trucks can throw salt, sand or cinders that can damage close-following vehicles. 
  • Salt brine trucks have a sign on the back warning motorist to “Liquid Salt, Stay Back.” That is for your safety as well as the drivers. They can’t see you and the brine sprays across three traffic lanes whether you are driving in them or not.  
  • Plow truck operators have to focus on snow removal and cannot always watch out for the drivers surrounding them, which means they may not see you if you try to pass or even collide with MoDOT equipment.
  • Drive even more slowly in construction zones, even though they are inactive in winter weather.  
  • Always have your headlights on, plenty of fuel and wiper fluid and tires with ample tread.
  • Remember that a snowplow operator’s field of vision is restricted. You may see them, but they may not see you.

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