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TowNews

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  1. Tow truck driver killed on the job remembered by colleagues SEE VIDEO IN LINK BELOW OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – A tow truck driver was hit and killed while on the job near the town of Fletcher on Wednesday. Bernardo Martinez worked at Sergio’s Towing Service since October. “This guy was a solid, just genuine, great, honest guy, and a good worker,” colleague Cody Ceballos said. He says they were trying to reach Martinez on Wednesday when they noticed his truck wasn’t moving on the company’s GPS tracker. “We kept calling him, kept calling him, kept calling him, just no answer,” Ceballos said. “We’re watching the GPS, we’re glued to the GPS tracker.” Unfortunately, their worst fear came true when police confirmed Martinez had been hit and killed. Nick Ragsdale with Ragsdale Wrecker Service, who’s also a spokesperson for the ‘Slow Down and Move Over’ campaign, says tow truck drivers are a tight-knit community. “It keeps in the back of your mind, but when it hits home close like this, it’s pretty rough,” he said. “At the end of the day, we’re all trying to make it home to our families, and try to make a little bit of a living while we’re at it.” Both Ragsdale and Ceballos are reminding drivers to slow down and move over for anyone stopped on the side of a road. “We lost a really good driver there because of a senseless reason. Wasn’t even busy part of the highway,” Ceballos said. Martinez leaves behind a wife, four children and two grandchildren. RESOURCE LINK with video
  2. CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCSC) - The funeral for the tow truck driver who died following a crash on the Don Holt Bridge is Saturday. Authorities say the tow truck diver William Ellis of North Charleston died as a result of a crash on the bridge on July 1. Deputies say he was helping the driver of a disabled vehicle when it happened. The memorial parade in honor or Ellis is expected to take place following the funeral. More than 100 tow-truck drivers and others from the community are expected to participate. The funeral will take place at noon at Faith Tabernacle Church of Zion on Dorchester Road on July 11. Organizers say participants will drive over the Don Holt bridge as a way to pay their respects and end the parade at the burial site. The family wants the community to know that Ellis was a devoted father and grandfather who loved his family and people of all walks of life. They say he was an outgoing, loving and caring soul who worked hard as an entrepreneur in a wide range of businesses. In addition to owning his roadside assistance business, Ellis' family says he had owned several Thai restaurants throughout the state, and was an entertainment promoter and manager. The family says Ellis was also known for his great sense of humor, he loved debating and would help anyone in their time of need. They say he will be deeply missed. The South Carolina Highway Patrol is investigating the crash. No charges have been filed in connection to the case. A friend of Ellis says they are pushing for law enforcement to enforce the Move Over Law in South Carolina. The law requires drivers to slow down or move over a lane to give space for emergency responders and people at the scene of emergency incidents including tow trucks on the side of the road. Charleston County Sheriff’s Deputy Michael Costanzo was critically injured in the crash. RESOURCE LINK
  3. FRAZIER PARK, CA (Monday, July 6, 2020 at 1:36 p.m.)—[updated] A pickup truck with camper that was being towed by Panorama Towing caught fire just after 1 p.m. while eastbound on Frazier Mountain Park Road, just east of Cuddy Canyon Road. Cuddy Valley resident Rob Eubank was there when the fire erupted, and made a video of Kern County Fire Department engines 56 and 357 extinguishing the blaze in about 10 minutes, including a small grass fire that started. Eubank said there were some small explosions in the camper, but the gas tank did not exolode. There were some melted lights on the tow truck and roadside foliage sparks, but those were extinguished quickly and that appeared to be the limit of the damage, Eubank said. The tow truck, he reported, had been asked by the sheriff’s office to take the camper for impound.
  4. Tow truck driver critically hurt in Stevenson Expressway crash Two people were injured, one of them critically, in a crash Monday on the Stevenson Expressway on the Southwest Side. A tow truck driver was outside his truck about 2:45 a.m. assisting a semi on the shoulder of eastbound I-55 near Cicero Avenue when another vehicle rear-ended his truck, according to Illinois State Police. The tow truck driver was then hit by either his truck or the vehicle that hit it, state police said. He and the driver of that vehicle were both taken to Mount Sinai Hospital, where the tow truck driver was in critical condition. The right two inbound lanes of I-55 remain closed in the area as crews continue to investigate, state police said. Multiple News Sources
  5. FIRST ALERT: Deputy seriously injured, Coast Guard searching for person in water after Don Holt crash CHARLESTON COUNTY, S.C. (WCSC) - The Charleston County Sheriff’s Office says one of its deputies has been hospitalized with serious injuries after a crash on the Don Holt Bridge Wednesday morning. The deputy was assisting the driver of a disabled vehicle when he was struck by a passing vehicle, Capt. Roger Antonio said. Meanwhile, a Coast Guard spokesman says their agency is searching for a tow truck driver who may have gone over the bridge and into the water when the crash happened. That driver was said to be unaccounted for after the incident, the Coast Guard spokesman said, but he could provide no further details. The Coast Guard and the Charleston County Sheriff’s Office also have helicopters in the area. The crash was reported at 9:51 a.m. and closed all westbound lanes for more than an hour. One lane reopened to allow traffic through. RESOURCE LINK with video NOTE: We're Praying the Tow Truck Driver will be found alive. Time is passing quickly and there are no follow up reports available yet. We will post any news reports or confirmations as they become available. Charleston County Sheriff’s Office Facebook Page Asked for Prayers For the Deputy. However failed to mention the missing Tow Truck Driver. Just replied: "We pray for everyone involved in this incident. We initially released information only about our deputy because we are not handling the investigation. We added the request for prayer because praying is what we are doing. To me that's not good enough, Please leave a thought here and then light them up as they should have asked for prayers for all involved. This is unacceptable! https://www.facebook.com/charlestoncountysheriff/ Additional Resource Link Added Tow Truck Driver has been located: https://www.live5news.com/video/2020/07/02/video-emergency-crews-locate-body-tow-truck-driver-don-holt-crash/ Remembering Will Ellis: https://www.counton2.com/news/local-news/lifelong-friend-remembers-william-ellis-tow-truck-driver-who-lost-his-life-in-accident-on-don-holt-bridge/
  6. VERNON, CT — A man is accused of attacking a tow truck with a machete during an incident in Vernon, police said. A report on the June 16 incident was made available Thursday. The altercation at 631 Talcottville Road — the Countrywood apartment complex — took place at 2:17 a.m., a report indicates. Police were told by a tow truck driver that he was attacked by a man with a machete. The man, identified as 55-year-old Jacob Addy, who lives at the complex, is accused of using a machete to cut the straps used to attach his vehicle to the tow truck, according to a report. A report does not mention why the vehicle was on the tow truck. Addy was charged with carrying a dangerous weapon, second-degree threatening, third-degree criminal mischief and second-degree breach of peace. He posted a $10,000 bond and is due in court on Aug. 4, records show. RESOURCE LINK
  7. Max Holloway, Muskogee In response to the proposition to change Muskogee's form of city government from a professional local government manager to an elected position, I am reminded of an incident about which I was told many years ago. It happened in "small town Arkansas." The town was replacing its water tower, and the professional decision makers had recommended taking bids that the professionals believed should range from $10,000 to $15,000. However, the local mayor and his buddy on the council suggested that was much too expensive and it could be done for much less. The team the mayor had in mind to do the job just so happened to be in the audience and explained to the council that he and his brother-in-law could take down the tower for $5,000. After some discussion and much disagreement with the professionals, the mayor succeeded into intimidating his council members into awarding the contract to hometown's "Buster's Business." On the big day, half the town turned out to see the big water tower take-down. Buster got his buddy to use his big blow torch to start cutting one leg while he started torching the other leg. They had their 1-ton tow truck with its long winch connected to the other side near the top at the walkway that circled the tank. When Buster could tell that the two torch cuttings were just at the right moment, he would signal to the driver to start pulling. The chain on the winch was long enough that when the tank came tumbling down, the truck and driver would be in the clear. The problems: one, the tank was full of water, two, the torchers were working on the wrong legs. As the tow truck kicked into gear and started to move, the tower tumbled — in the wrong direction. The little one-ton truck was jerked up on its hind legs and the tank fell — right on top of City Hall. RESOURCE LINK TRUTH TO THIS STORY:
  8. BROOKLYN, Ohio Attempted car theft: Memphis Avenue On June 4, a Memphis Avenue resident called police after someone for the second time in a week attempted to steal his car using a tow truck. During the previous attempt, the would-be car thief ripped off the vehicle’s bumper. There are no suspects. Police are investigating. RESOURCE LINK
  9. NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) — Incidents of violence against the police in the wake of the George Floyd killing, are well documented across the country. Now the question remains, is that sentiment being felt here in Nashville? On Sunday night, someone shot at a Metro Police car that was on the back of a wrecker. It happened around 11:30 p.m. on Ellington Parkway near Cleveland Street. Police confirmed that one of their marked Metro Police cruisers broke down and they called West Nashville Wrecker to tow the vehicle. On the way, the tow truck company owner said a car pulled next to the tow truck and started to shoot several times at the police car on the back of the wrecker. The first bullet went through a back tire on the cruiser and a second bullet went through the steel frame of the wrecker that was transporting the police car. The driver was not hit, but said he was shook up as he called 911. Nobody at the wrecker service wanted to talk on camera. However, the owner told News 2 his driver is now considering quitting his job for fear that his life could be in danger for simply doing his job. Metro Police said they believe this is an isolated incident and they take it very seriously. Metro Police Spokesperson Don Aaron said, “We want to think this is an isolated incident. What happened Sunday night is not Nashville! We take it very seriously, any attack on the police department is taken very seriously. The crime gun unit of the specialized investigation division is handling this case. They’ve got some promising leads and we look forward to bringing the person responsible into custody.” Police said nobody was hurt. RESOURCE LINK with video
  10. Tow truck driver killed on I-280 NEWS VIDEO LINK CLICK HERE A tow truck driver who contracts with a state agency was killed today (June 23) on Interstate 280 between Farm Hill Boulevard and Edgewood Road in Redwood City, according to CHP. The man, who is in his 60s and is from Castro Valley or Dublin, was a driver with the Bay Area Freeway Service Patrol, or FSP, a program that works with Caltrans and the CHP to quickly respond to vehicle breakdowns that occur during rush hour, said CHP Officer Art Montiel. At 3:40 p.m., the man was working on a car on the right shoulder of southbound 280 when a large red lumber truck swerved off the interstate and hit both the FSP truck and the man, Montiel said. The CHP doesn’t know why the truck swerved off the road, Montiel said. The driver of the red truck stopped a little ways away from the scene, said Montiel. The man is 25 and from San Jose, his name is not being released yet. Montiel said that drivers need to remember to slow down or pull into the next lane if they see a utility or emergency vehicle in the right shoulder with its emergency lights on. RESOURCE LINK
  11. The history of the tow truck begins in the city of Chattanooga, Tennessee. "The friend of the guy who invented the tow truck, Ernest Holmes Sr., he had flipped his car over in the Chickamauga Creek, explains Nyle Vincent of the International Towing Museum. “He had to call up about 12 friends of his to help pull the car out. There was very little equipment available to go recover a vehicle. So they spent the entire day out there. So by the time he got back to the shop, he was like, there's got to be an easier way. There's got to be an easier way." Ernest Holmes Sr. spent months at the drawing board, developing plans for the world's first tow truck. By 1919, the Holmes 485 was born. A chassis that sported a metal tube framework, pulleys, wires, outriggers and hooks. It was an invention that would change everything automotive. And it is that invention that is celebrated here at The International Towing Museum on Chattanooga’s south side. "We house antique tow trucks, says Vincent. “We display the history of the tow truck, and how it's impacted the world." In this museum, you'll find tow trucks of every size and every speed. You can explore the uniqueness of the designs and get an insight into the engineering that has evolved over the past one hundred years. Each truck here has a story. One of the museum’s more popular attractions is a tow truck used on the beaches of Normandy, France. "It was part of the Red Ball Express, which was the supply chain during the War. This particular truck was in Normandy and had suffered some damage as the War went on, and it was left in France. Eventually, it was recovered, restored and then brought back over here. It's the only truck in our collection that currently does not run because it still has some of the original battle damage, which is pretty neat." Nyle says since his time working at the museum, many drivers in the industry have come by to show their appreciation for this unique museum. "I've gotten to meet a lot of towers that have come in on a regular basis. First of all, they are very appreciative that we have this museum here because it's honoring their industry. We have the wall of the fallen out front that commemorates the drivers that pass away each year. The current stat is that it's one tow truck driver that is lost every 6 to 10 days. Because it's extremely dangerous, issues with cell phones, etc. So it just takes a hard-working, determined individual handling that type of thing because it's extremely dangerous." To plan a visit and find out about times of operation and admission, visit their website. RESOURCE LINK
  12. Vicki Lynn Hutton, 65, of Lancaster, PA passed away on Monday, June 15, 2020. Born in Lancaster, she was the daughter of the late Amos Hoar and Betty Arlene Steinman. Vicki was the first female tow truck driver when she started her career in towing. Vicki was a proud business owner of Cabbage Hill Garage and Towing for 40 years. In her free time, Vicki loved boating and fishing with her family at Raystown Lake. She enjoyed gardening, sun tanning, and hosting family cookouts. Vicki will be dearly missed by her friends and family. Vicki is survived by her husband, Benjamin R. Hutton, her son, Robert Resch of Washington D.C.; her daughter, Amy Hutton, wife of Jon Smith of Elizabethtown, PA; her four step children, Shirley and David Emerick of Lancaster, Angela Williams, wife of Larry of Lancaster, and Shannon Griffin, wife of Andrew of North Carolina; along with nine grandchildren, Alexis, Jayden, Sierra, Orlando, Carter, Renae, Sasha, Courtney, and Cheyanne; one great-grandchild; and her sister, Brenda J. Steger, wife of Jeffrey of Virginia. The family would like to give special thanks to Vicki's caregivers, Tammy Slocum, Frances Soto, Tonya Kendig, Renae Emerick, and Cynthia Salmieri. Family will receive friends starting at 12:00 Noon on Friday, June 26, 2020 at The Groffs Family Funeral Home, 528 West Orange Street, Lancaster, PA 17603. The Funeral Service will begin at 2:00 p.m. at the funeral home. The Graveside Service will be held at Conestoga Memorial Park at 3:30 p.m. on Friday, June 26, 2020. The family will announce a public luncheon in Vicki's memory at a later date. Please visit Vicki's Memorial Page at: www.TheGroffs.com
  13. OSP: 1 killed, 2 injured following head-on crash on HWY 224 near Barton CLACKAMAS COUNTY, OR (KPTV) – A man was killed following a head-on crash on Highway 224 east of Barton on Friday. Oregon State Patrol and emergency crews responded to the crash near Southeast Dale Lane at approximately 11:23 p.m. According to a preliminary investigation, a red 1992 Ford F150 driving east crossed into the westbound lane and collided head-on into 2014 Dodge Ram tow truck. The driver of the Ford was pronounced dead at the scene, Troopers said. The name of the driver will be released once family has been notified. The driver of the Dodger was later identified as Gary Smith, 56, of Portland and a passenger, Jennifer Sampson, 48, of Vancouver, were taken to the hospital with serious injuries. RESOURCE LINK
  14. A Driver with Jamie Davis Towing has been injured in a Roll Over Accident. A message on the companies FB page stated: Flat deck accident today Our driver Rob Mitchell ROLLs truck Deck truck rolls over and over Big prayers to Rob Mitchell heading to Hope Hospital to see how he’s doing . No truck pics at this time
  15. Jerr-Dan® Names Bob Nelson Vice President and General Manager By Tow Professional - June 19, 2020 Hagerstown, MD – Jerr-Dan, an Oshkosh Corporation company (NYSE:OSK) and the single brand leader in the towing and recovery industry, announces the appointment of Bob Nelson as the company’s new vice president and general manager. Nelson brings to the position over 25 years’ experience in sales and distribution management, as well as a deep knowledge of both business-to-business and manufacturing operations. “For more than two decades, Bob has contributed to the long-term success of our organization through his efforts at JLG®. I look forward to seeing how he advances the towing and recovery side of our business in his new leadership role,” said Frank Nerenhausen, executive vice president, Oshkosh Corporation and president, access equipment segment. “His commercial business acumen and vision for growth will position Jerr-Dan for continued success.” After beginning his career in sales for a nationally recognized rental company, Nelson started selling SkyTrak® telehandlers. After being tapped by SkyTrak to serve as a regional sales manager, Nelson was named Southeast district sales manager when JLG acquired SkyTrak in 1998. He was later promoted to regional vice president for the Mid-Atlantic region, where his career continued its upward trajectory. In 2010, he was named vice president of North American sales. Over the years, Nelson has received numerous accolades for his sales performance, receiving three prestigious JLG sales awards including Rookie of the Year, Salesman of the Year, and the John L. Grove Leadership Award. “I am honored to lead the future growth and expansion of Jerr-Dan,” said Nelson. “We will continue to grow Jerr-Dan’s market leadership across the towing and recovery industry through increased market share, expansion of aftermarket offerings, and widening of our distributor base in support of international expansion.” Nelson is a graduate of Purdue University and is a resident of Winchester, Virginia. RESOURCE LINK
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