Wednesday morning’s memorial service for Lowcountry tow truck operator and Marine veteran Eric “PK” Albertson brought more than 150 mourners from differing walks of life to Beaufort National Cemetery. Those that attended represented the various and rich aspects of his life including his wife and three children, friends, Marines, motorcycle enthusiasts and fellow tow operators.
Albertson was killed on December 27, 2023, by a hit and run driver while he was on the job for A-1 Towing providing assistance on Frontage Road just north of Ridgeland. The person responsible for his death has not yet been identified by law enforcement.
Roadside Angel Towing owner Edwin GaNun, of Walterboro, S.C., shared that he interacted with Albertson while on the job. “He was always happy, down to business and he didn’t play around.”
GaNun turned out with one of over three dozen tow trucks, in addition to over 40 motorcycles that lined Robert Small Parkway in front of Copeland funeral home. Albertson’s wishes were that he took a “last ride” as all of the vehicles formed a processional to Beaufort Cemetery, where he received full military honors. He served as a Marine for 12 years, and was preparing his son to enter the military.
Many in attendance wore sweatshirts honoring Albertson on the front while offering a reminder of the South Carolina Move Over law on the back. Their message was clear: more needs to be done to protect tow truck operators as they respond to calls on or near dangerous roadways and intersections.
Tammie Davids, co-owner of A-1 Towing, said that Albertson was one of the company’s best drivers and that their company makes safety a top priority including holding monthly meetings that focus on operator safety. “We do what we can to make sure our operators are lit up like Christmas with the neon reflective material on their clothing.”
Her husband, and co-owner, Bobby Davids fears that passing motorists have become desensitized to the warning lights on tow trucks. “The blue and red lights are synonymous with fire, police and EMS. Everyone has a tendency to respect those,” Davids explained, “the problem with the orange, yellow, and white lights is that folks are used to seeing them on other vehicles such as in construction zones and they don’t garner the same level of respect.”
“I add extra lights but it still does not slow them down,” GaNun added.
Mrs. Davids said, “There is no respect, patience, empathy or compassion, and because of that, this man lost his life. There needs to be better walls of protection.” Currently, violation of the Move Over law in South Carolina carries a minimum fine of $300, and a maximum of $500.
Albertson’s father in law, George Romer, said of the hit-and-run driver, ” I don’t know how you can run somebody over and keep going. They need to do the right thing.”
According to a spokesman from the South Carolina State Patrol, there have been no leads in who was responsible for Albertson’s death. The agency has released a description of a vehicle as a dark metallic gray Chevrolet Trailblazer with a damaged headlight and grill that was last seen traveling north on West Frontage towards SC 462.
Anyone with information is asked to call the SCHP at 843-953-6010, or 800-768-1501.
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