Rolling tribute for Prairie Du Pont firefighter and tow truck operator

Image source -

PRAIRIE DU PONT, Ill. – A caravan of tow trucks and emergency vehicles made its way from a funeral home in Dupo, Illinois, to the East Carondelet Community Center on Tuesday night. The procession showcased the pain felt over the tragic death of 57-year-old Wade Bivins, a volunteer firefighter, tow truck operator, and dedicated community servant.

Prairie Du Pont Fire Chief Jerame Simmons paid tribute to Bivins, describing him as the type of person every community would want to call their own.

“Anything you ask Wade to do, there was never a no. It’s like, ‘When do you want it done? Can we do it now?’ That’s how great a guy he was,” Simmons said.

Bivins worked for Paw Paw Towing and was assisting a stranded driver on Interstate 255 when he was struck and killed last week. The driver remained on the scene, and an investigation is ongoing.

The visitation for Bivins was held on Tuesday, drawing friends, colleagues, and strangers alike.

Niki O’Bryan, Paw Paw Towing manager, recalled Bivins’ commitment to his work.

“He’d get into a tight space or a difficult call, and he’d call me and say, ‘Hey, I’m going to be here a minute, but I’ll get it done,” O’Bryan said.

O’Bryan and others hope this tragic loss will lead to drivers using more caution and following Move Over laws designed to keep first responders safe.

“Let up on the gas; move over,” East Carondelet Mayor Herb Simmons said. “You see those lights, whether they’re yellow, red, blue, or whatever, that’s a warning. That’s what they’re for.”

O’Bryan emphasized the importance of paying attention to flashing lights, irrespective of their color. Even if it’s a family stranded on the roadside with their flashers on, she warns drivers to move over.

“There’s someone inside that car,” she said.

Chief Simmons said, “This all could have been avoided if somebody would have moved over and slowed down.”

Bivins was a husband, father, and grandfather. He was known for his willingness to volunteer in his community, including offering to play Santa Claus.


Never Miss A Story

Get our Weekly recap with the latest news, articles and resources.
Cookie policy
We use our own and third party cookies to allow us to understand how the site is used and to support our marketing campaigns.

Hot daily news right into your inbox.