A traveling memorial known as the Spirit Ride made its way from Albert Lea up to St. Paul Wednesday. The Spirit Ride is meant to raise awareness of the dangers first responders face on their jobs. The memorial included a casket that has been carried all over America.
It began its journey at Allen's Tow N Travel in Albert Lea. First responders participated in the symbolic event meant to bring awareness to the Move Over Law. It's a rule many don't know about, and it requires people who see emergency personnel doing their job on the side of the road to move over. Joe Buck is a tow truck operator who suffered a dislocated knee in 1995 when a driver hit him as he was responding to a car crash in snowy weather.
"I'm a lucky one. I get to walk still," he says, "I get to go home at night and kiss my wife good night. And I know guys that don't make it. That didn't make it when they got hit. And it's not fair to us. You know, we need people to be respectful and not be texting and driving and pay attention to what's going on. We're not there as a hindrance on the roadway to slow your commute down. We're there to speed it up, believe it or not, because we're moving the wrecks out of the way."
Drivers are being asked by first responders to slow down and drive around them whenever you see a police car, fire truck, tow truck operator, construction vehicle or MNDOT vehicle.