Fact Finders: Who’s responsible for cleaning up crash scenes?

“Is the tow company required to remove debris from the roadway and shoulders?”
Published: Mar. 30, 2022 at 9:33 PM CDT
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SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (KY3) - You may have passed an accident scene today with all the wet roads. One of our viewers wants to know; When there are vehicle accidents, is the tow company required to remove debris from the roadway and shoulders?”

When cars crash into each other parts often go flying all over the place. Law enforcement will often call a towing company to the scene. The tow company’s primary job is to get disabled vehicles off the road after the investigation is complete. And, they do pick up those pieces of plastic and metal and will even break out a broom.

“It’s a common courtesy, it’s kind of a code that when they take possession of a vehicle for that person that has either been injured, or they’ve requested that, they’re going to take every practical piece of that vehicle that’s not attached to it at that time due to.., due to crash damage, and remove it from the roadway and take it with,” explained Sgt. Michael McClure of The Missouri State Highway Patrol.

Sergeant McClure also told KY3 crash debris left on a roadway is often from car-deer collisions or unreported accidents.

Meantime, The Federal Highway Administration says the cleanup of debris from car crashes typically falls to the towing and recovery company. But, firefighters and police officers often pitch in to help with the cleanup.

So, to answer the viewer’s question, Missouri does not have a law or rule on the books on this topic. It’s a common courtesy. The answer is NO, it’s not required.

If you have something you want us to investigate, email us at factfinders@ky3.com.

To report a correction or typo, please email digitalnews@ky3.com

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