About 200 tow trucks are planning to proceed through Gilbert and Mesa Thursday evening following a funeral for a AAA tow truck driver who was struck and killed on Loop 202 on Friday.
Jesse Gault’s funeral will be 5 p.m. at Falconer Funeral Home, 251 W. Juniper Ave., in Gilbert. The procession will take place between 5:30 p.m. and 6 p.m. from the funeral home.
It will move north on Gilbert Road and make a left on Main Street where the tow trucks will stop for a moment of silence in front of Gault’s former employer, Thompson's Auto Repair and Towing in Mesa at 1325 E. Main Street. Most of the procession will then continue on to Gault’s favorite restaurant, Hometown Buffet, located at 1855 S. Stapley Drive and the truck carrying his casket will return to the funeral home.
The body of Jesse Gault will be in a casket on the flatbed of a tow truck in the procession, said Chris Timothy, owner of Falconer Funeral Home in Gilbert.
Gault was killed along with Jean Bunch after he changed her tire in the emergency lane on Loop 202 near Gilbert Road about 10 a.m. Friday. A large truck driven by Albert J. Lorona, 31, of Yuma plowed into the back of Gault's tow truck, crushing Gault and Bunch only minutes before they were going to drive away.
Investigators still haven't interviewed Lorona because he has been at a local hospital with injuries.
The procession of tow trucks with flashing lights will be held in Gault’s memory, but will also be an effort to show state lawmakers that tow truck drivers want to see a change, said Joyce Capson, of Robins Towing, who has been a tow truck driver for 25 years.
“Why don’t we matter?” Capson said in a phone interview while holding back tears. “The ‘Move Over Law’ should apply to (us).”
Capson said she wants to see the law that requires freeway drivers to move over a lane or slow down for emergency vehicles on the side of the highway be changed to also include tow truck drivers.
Tow truck drivers were initially included in the bill, but were removed from the legislation before it became law.
Capson said she and other tow truck drivers have written letters to lawmakers in light of Gault’s death and have already heard back from one person.
“We’re trying to do all we can now,” Capson said.