A serious crash shut down the westbound lanes of Highway 1 in Abbotsford Saturday, sending a tow-truck operator to hospital.

Witness Dana Knight told CTV News a tow-truck operator had just finished loading another vehicle onto his truck when he saw another truck coming at him. The man was hit and apparently broke both his lower legs in the incident, Knight said.

“I can see a guy laying on the ground, so I go into the back of my car and get my gloves because I’m a first aid attendant,” she said. “He’s yelling that his legs hurt and I said, ‘that’s a good thing that your legs hurt because that means you can still feel them.’”

Both air and ground ambulances responded to the scene. The victim - who remained conscious and lucid after the accident, according to Knight - was airlifted to Royal Columbia Hospital, where he underwent surgery.

The collision took place in the late morning, just west of Whatcom Road.

Abbotsford police tweeted that they were responding to the scene. The highway was reopened as of 1:40 p.m., according to Drive BC: 

The victim works for Aggressive Auto Towing, one of the companies Highway Thru Hell producer Mark Miller sometimes works with for his show.

Though he doesn’t know the driver personally, Miller told CTV News he empathizes with the victim and his family and coworkers.

“Every time when a tow-truck driver goes to work, every time when a police officer goes to work on a busy highway, it is in the back of their minds,” he said. “They tell us that.”

Miller said he would like to see people start respecting the provincial law that requires them to change lanes and reduce their speed when passing an accident. Similar laws exist across North America.

“Slow down, move over. That’s the message here,” he said. “It breaks our heart to see somebody hurt, and needlessly hurt. It’s unacceptable that people don’t slow down and move over.”