Lynchburg area towing community remembers ‘most honorable’ tow truck driver who died from COVID-19

Lynchburg & Central Virginia News

LYNCHBURG, Va. (WFXR) — More than 40 tow trucks traveled from Lynchburg’s Memorial Avenue, over the John Lynch Bridge, and into Madison Heights over the weekend to honor a well-loved and well-respected tow truck driver.

Gary “Bubbles” Vaughan

Two weeks ago, 68-year-old Gary “Bubbles” Vaughan passed away from COVID-19.

With the help of his “tow family,” his loved ones held a unique procession, parading dozens of tow and wreck trucks to his funeral.

Vaughan was a member of the towing community for over 40 years. He became the owner of “Bubble’s 23 1/2 hour Wrecker Service” and was its only driver.

For many, he is known as the most honorable wreck truck driver in Lynchburg and surrounding areas.

“Whenever a tow member passes away, communities like to come together to honor them,” said Denise Crawford with Crawford Towing & Recovery. “Everybody in the community loved him. All of his customers loved him. So we figured this would be a great way to honor him.”

According to Mark Hudson of Mitchell’s Towing, “He’s been towing in Lynchburg for almost as long as I’ve been alive. I think Bubbles will be known as a friend to everybody.”

Even in his times of illness, Vaughan was known to continue doing what he did best: pulling cars and trucks. The other tow truck workers say it was an honor to work with him

“My granddad grew up knowing him and my dad knew him. You really can’t even describe ‘Bubbles,'” said Ryan Maddox with Maddox Towing. “He was a respectful person, charitable, helped people out during hard times. You can’t get much better of a person than that. There are different names on the trucks but we’re all in this together.”

Vaughan’s casket was loaded onto the back of his tow truck to give him his last ride to his funeral service at Mount Sinai Baptist Church in Madison Heights.

WFXR News learned that Vaughan left behind a daughter, a grandson, and a loving family, as well as a large community of tow truck drivers and happy customers.

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