First snow snarls roads

TRI-CITIES, Wash. -- It seems Christmas came early for those wishing for snow. The Tri-Cities saw snow flurries continue for a few hours early Friday morning. It was a driver's nightmare out on the roads, but a tow trucker's dream.

Josh Vaughn is never busier than on the first big snow of the season.

"I like it, I like helping people out and that's why I've been doing it for so long," said Josh Vaughn.

He's been a tow truck driver for the last five years.

"We do a lot more police calls when it snows and that is what makes it worth it to be a tower," said Vaughn.

Washington State patrol was just as busy, within the two hour span of 9am to 11am, WSP had 40 calls for help. That is ten times the workload troopers normally get in a whole day. Most were cars that had spun off the highways after going too fast. Like Sarah Lindenmeier. Sarah's dad made her talk to KEPR as a punishment, after he had to come help her get her car out of a ditch.

"I was sideways and then decided to accelerate more and then my car went boom, into the ditch," said Sarah Lindenmeier.

Which is where towers like Josh come into the picture. He tells KEPR Rad Towing normally gets about 20 calls a day, but when there's snow, that doubles.

"The towing industry has a bad name for taking cars, that's not what we do, we try and help people more than take cars out of parking lots," said Vaughn.

The snow fell after school was in session, so there were no delays or closures. Hermiston schools canceled some sports activities. Sarah's relieved her spinout wasn't worse.

"It was just a dumb mistake, driving is driving, snow, rain, whatever, just got to be careful," said Lindenmeier.

And for truckers like Josh, ready for a busy day of rescuing.

"What's the next call going to be, is it going to be someone stuck in there car or someone who just doesn't want to drive," said Vaughn.

"I'm a good driver, just....oops," said Lindenmeier.

Tow companies say they see most of their calls off on-ramps and roundabouts. So be aware those are the areas you may be more likely to run off the road.