WJTV News Channel 12 - Hillsville tow truck driver left large impact

Hillsville tow truck driver leaves behind large impact

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A wreath with white flowers hangs here at Russell's Garage in Hillsville. Darin Shupe says his boss, Russell Nelson, was killed tragically. Shupe says the 74-year-old was on the job, trying to tow a car, when he was hit by another car along Interstate 77.

He told stories every day, and I mean some stories too," said Shupe.

He and co-worker Freddy Alley first heard the terrible news over a police scanner at the tow yard and repair shop owned by Nelson, before heading out to the scene on the northbound side near mile marker six.

"I don't know how to describe it, it's just a terrible feeling," said Shupe.

"Is it even true, could it even be real, did it really happen." said Alley.

It happened to a man whose closest friends say leaves behind a legacy of customer service.

"I've seen him tow cars in for people that didn't have any money at the time, and he would say well just mail it to me. Ninety nine percent of those he got back," said Shupe.

Ally and Shupe say you don't have to look too far to see the impact Nelson made in this community. In fact, more than half of the car repair business comes right here to Russell's Garage.

Where a handful of tow truck drivers have worked for more than a decade, for Nelson. They are a team like first responders placing themselves in harms way when responding to a call on an interstate.

"You always worry about who you send out, and their safety and what the situation is."

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