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Towing company talks dangers of the job following attack on truck driver

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) - A scary encounter between a tow truck driver and his passenger this weekend is putting into perspective just how dangerous the job can get.

The Jefferson County Sheriff's Office said Grayson Woodside pulled out a knife and slashed tow truck driver David Brooks' neck on Saturday.

Previous storyMan in custody after attacking truck driver, crashing truck in Sevier Co.

Steve Smith, the owner of Fountain City Wrecker, reflected on the shocking scenario that hit close to home. 

"Bad as it was, it could have been extremely tragic," said Smith.

Brooks was called to tow a car in Jefferson County on Saturday. Brooks offered the driver, Woodside, a ride, and that's when deputies say Woodside attacked him with a knife. 

That incident, Smith says, highlights the nature of what they do, every day.

"Tow truck drivers are in a dangerous job," Smith said. 

One of the dangers, Smith pointed out, is the difference between a tow truck and say a taxi cab. In the tow truck, there's no barrier between the driver and your passenger.

Other things drivers need to look out for, Smith said, are cars speeding by as they're working on the side of the road.

"Many tow truck drivers have lost their lives in the job, it's tight quarters on the interstate," Smith said.

Smith recommends staying safe with constant awareness.

"Anytime someone rides with them have communication with them at all times. Notice their behavior," Smith said. "If you foresee a problem, call the law enforcement to assist you if you foresee that it might escalate." 

While Smith calls the weekend's encounter unusual, he's relieved things turned out the way they did.

"I wish him all the best and very thankful it wasn't worse than it was," Smith said.

Woodside faces charges of especially aggravated robbery, aggravated assault, theft of property over $60,000, evading arrest and reckless endangerment.

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