LocalSYR

Storm keeps AAA drivers busy

At last check, AAA drivers in Syracuse responded to 176 calls on Friday, which isn’t excessive, but that’s because so many events were canceled and it kept people off of the roads.
Syracuse (WSYR-TV) -- At last check, AAA drivers in Syracuse responded to 176 calls on Friday, which isn’t excessive, but that’s because so many events were canceled and it kept people off of the roads.

When it’s your job to help people who get themselves stranded on the highways, staying off the roads isn’t an option.

After 50 years of pulling people out of winter jams, AAA driver Rand Walser knows a snowy rush hour in February is no fun.

"There is a guy in a Cadillac that just did a 360 on 690. He had the highway pretty much cleared almost to himself,” Walser said.

Poor Zofia Valenzuela slid off course before she even left her driveway. She slid right into the side of a neighbor's house.

"I'm really pretty good at driving in the snow. It is just this driveway is a monster I think,” Valenzuela told NewsChannel 9.

Walser came to the rescue, slowly guiding the car to its proper place. He admits it takes a special kind of person to enjoy this line of work in Syracuse.

"You've got to like to work long hours in lousy weather, most times with people who are mad,” Walser said.

This is not an unusual storm for Central New York, but it does make it busy for the folks at AAA who called in twice as many people today.

“We have 31 trucks right now and there are only two in the lot, so right now we have 29 associates out on the road,” said AAA Fleet Operations Manager Todd Ingraham.

AAA tow trucks won't drive down unplowed roads or driveways, meaning you may be stuck for awhile if you don't shovel regularly. Zofia got the help she needed, but she's not pushing her luck.

"I think I am just going to park on the street and stay in for the rest of the night,” Valenzuela said.

And Walser is off to the next job. "I don't pay attention to it until it hits. It doesn't matter.It is going to snow, it is going to snow. I don't look forward to it and I don't run from it."

Walser wanted to remind people about the Move Over law. If you see a tow truck on the side of the road, get in the other lane and give them room to work. If you can’t move over, slow down.

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