WATERTOWN, S.D. (KSFY) - Dale Jones' son, Doug Jones, remembers the days when he was young, growing up in a tow truck right alongside his old man.
Dale Jones, submitted photo
"He's been doing this for 27 years, it's what he loved to do you know," Doug said. "He did it since I've been alive - he's been doing this"
No matter who you talk to the verdict is the same, Dale Jones is man who leaves a lasting impression.
"You can't forget Dale," said Andy Wicks, Performance Towing and Recovery. "Once you meet him one time, he's the kind of person that will be marked in your memory, and he's just touched so many people."
Even though Dale's passing is hard to stomach, Doug is glad to see the countless amount of lives his father had an impact on.
"Dad knew a lot of people, but I never expected the magnitude of what we've had the past two days," Doug said. "It's impressive, I would call it."
"Dale, he was a huge personality, to say he was bigger than life itself is an understatement," Wicks said.
"When you're on nights as a patrol officer, when I was a sergeant," said Kirk Ellis, Watertown Police Department. "If Dale seen you sitting at a gas station, maybe he was out working late, he'd stop and talk the officers or the clerk at the gas station. Just a very friendly guy."
But in the celebration of his memory, all those close to Dale agree, one important message must be shared. After a tragedy that could've been prevented.
"Whether it's a law enforcement operator, or an ambulance, or a tow truck operator, or somebody from DOT," Ellis said. "When you see flashing lights, if you see flashing lights, slow down, especially when the roads are slippery and that type of thing"
"You know we all have family we want to go home to, and kids, and grandkids, and to see tomorrow as well, and we should all have the opportunity to do so," Wick said.