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TowNews

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TowNews last won the day on January 23

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  1. Grieving mother spreads message for Tampa Bay drivers to ‘move over’ for emergency vehicles HILLSBOROUGH COUNTY, Fla. (WFLA) – Twenty thousand Florida drivers violated the move over law last year, authorities say. A grieving mother is on a mission to change that. “He had such a kind heart and he just loved life,” said Linda Unruh. Unruh owned Unruh Towing & Repair for decades in her home state of New Mexico. Her son Bobby was her safety coordinator. “He was my right-hand person to go to. He was my go-to person,” she said. In February 2017, her 37-year-old son died when he was hit by an 18-wheeler going 82 miles per hour. Bobby Unruh had arrived at the scene to help another tow truck operator. “One 18-wheeler failed to notice, failed to slow down,” said Unruh. “My goal is to reach people so that we can have zero loss on our highways and that’s my mission.” Nineteen days after her son’s death, New Mexico signed “Bobby’s Law” which adds tow trucks to the list of emergency vehicles included in the state’s move over law. Linda Unruh now travels the country to tell her story. She spoke Thursday at the AAA headquarters in Tampa. “Those first responders were entering the most dangerous place on earth: our public highways,” she said about other people killed on the roadside in America. Florida requires drivers to put a lane between them and any emergency vehicle pulled over. If that is not possible, drivers must slow speed to 20 miles per hour below the posted speed limit. According to AAA, one worker or first responder is killed on the roadside every other week in this country. “We’re all at risk for this. A lot of times you’ll see multiple people being injured because of a move over violation,” said Sgt. Steve Gaskins, Florida Highway Patrol. Move over violations caused 185 crashes in 2018, according to Sgt. Gaskins. RESOURCE LINK with video
  2. Strangers rescue woman trapped in burning car on I-85 A group of Good Samaritans rescued a woman who crashed on I-85 as her car caught on fire. *** Video Pending See Link Below *** DEKALB COUNTY, Ga. - A fiery crash on I-85 Southbound sent a group of strangers into action Friday afternoon. DeKalb County Police said a woman lost control near the Chamblee tucker road exit and spun across five lanes of traffic. Witnesses said she hit the wall, and then, a tow truck driving south hit her head on. "I just had to brace myself, and I thought I was going to die," said tow truck driver, George Washington. "I really thought I was going to die." Washington said he couldn't hit the brakes fast enough. "There was a pick up truck, and I guess she lost control because as she came around the corner, the truck started to spin around," he said. Washington said his truck smashed into the woman driving the pickup. He was okay, but the woman was trapped. "I was calling her name, telling her to get out, but she wasn't moving," said Washington. "I kept saying 'Hey! You've gotta get out! The car is on fire!' And she seemed like she didn't know where she was," said Washington. Smoke and flames started billowing out of the hood of her car as strangers rushed to help. "You could see the hood of the vehicle, the flames just rumbling under the hood," said Washington. That's when Washington and another stranger jumped into action. "I used the knife to cut her out because the steering wheel was on her knees and the door was crushed in, so that's when I went to the passenger side and pulled her out," said Washington. Washington said someone with a fire extinguisher helped put out her car fire until fire crews arrived. The group of people waited with the woman until the ambulance took her to the hospital. Washington said he has a message for that woman as she recovers. "I hope, I pray everything's okay," he said. DeKalb County Police have not confirmed the extent of the female driver's injuries. Washington said she was able to speak a little to the group and to the paramedics before she went to the hospital. RESOURCE LINK with video
  3. This incident occurred in Caguas, Puerto Rico on Friday. The driver wrote: Things that happen to us doing our work for irresponsible drivers driving along the walk.
  4. Photo by Woods Cross Police WOOD CROSS, Utah (ABC4 News)- Police in Woods Cross are working to clean up after they say a tow truck driver crashed on Friday. It happened in the area of 500 South 1300 West around 2 p.m. The truck was loaded with other cars at the time. Photo by Woods Cross Police Photo by Woods Cross Police Photo by Woods Cross Police RESOURCE LINK
  5. Driver narrowly escapes as semi plows into his tow truck, catches fire All Trevor Snyder saw before running for his life on a dark stretch of highway was the headlights of an oncoming truck, moments before it slammed into the back of his tow truck and caught fire, killing the driver. The fatal crash occurred Wednesday at approximately 11 p.m. on Highway 2 south of Highway 42 outside of Innisfail, about 120 kilometres north of Calgary. Snyder, who co-owns Snyder Enterprises in Beiseker, had pulled off to the shoulder to assist someone stranded on the side of the road with a disabled vehicle. He had just grabbed a tuque from the passenger side of his tow truck when he saw the semi-truck coming straight for him. “I walked around the front of the truck to face traffic and as I was peeking out all I could see were headlights coming right for me,” said Snyder. “At that point I started running like crazy and thought, ‘this isn’t going to end well.’ ” He said the semi-truck, which was pulling two trailers, slammed into his tow truck, which was launched into the air and landed on its roof. Meanwhile, the semi-truck continued to roll down the highway, about the length of two football fields, and went up in flames. Snyder said that by the time the vehicle stopped moving, the fire was visible. There was no way to reach the driver. “There was another gentleman that was closer to where the truck was stopped. He was trying his best, from what I gather, to assist the gentleman. There’s nothing that any one of us could have done without putting ourselves in serious harm’s way of getting hurt,” he said. While he counts himself lucky to be alive, he said the entire experience has him hurting. “I know machinery and material objects can be replaced but a human life is the most valuable and precious thing on the planet,” said Snyder. “We all have to be able to come home at the end of the day to someone. We all have family members. We have mothers, kids, relatives and everything. It’s one of those things where I feel really bad for the gentleman and his family, and I am just very, very fortunate that I walked away OK.” The 62-year-old driver of the semi-truck was declared dead on scene and RCMP have not released his identity, however they said he was from Edmonton. Snyder and the person he was assisting were not injured. Snyder said his tow truck is destroyed. AMA's Slow Down Move Over Day brings attention to tow truck safety Being in the transportation industry for 20 years, he said it’s not the first time he has witnessed a tragedy. He said his team is adamant about safety and usually has a blocker truck in place, four-way flashers on, emergency beacons and pylons. “When it comes to these situations, you can never be too careful,” he said. Snyder Enterprises is a partner of the Alberta Motor Association, which released a statement Thursday regarding the fatal crash. “This is a deeply tragic reminder of the ongoing importance of roadside safety — a responsibility we all share. A single loss of life is one too many,” AMA wrote. “Our thoughts are with the family and loved ones of everyone affected by this devastating loss.” Innisfail and Blackfalds RCMP responded to the collision. Traffic was diverted throughout Thursday morning while investigators were on scene. An investigation into the cause of the crash is ongoing. RESOURCE LINK
  6. A 60-year-old man died Thursday after being hit by a car and a tow truck in Gresham on the South Side. He was walking in the middle of Halsted Street about 11:40 p.m. when a westbound Chevrolet Impala struck him as he crossed 87th Street, Chicago police said. A vehicle behind the Impala swerved out of the way to avoid an accident, and a tow truck traveling behind both accidentally hit the man again, police said. The man was taken to Christ Medical Center in Oak Lawn and pronounced dead, police said. An autopsy found he died of multiple injuries from the crash, the Cook County medical examiner’s office said. His death was ruled accidental. Both the driver of the Impala, a 22-year-old woman, and the tow truck, a 29-year-old man, stayed at the scene, police said. No charges or citations are pending Friday morning. Hours after the crash, the tow truck could be seen pulled over on the side of 87th Street with multiple other vehicles. Two men in tow uniforms, one with a tear-lined face, stood on a grassy median as rain fell steadily. Area South detectives and the Major Accidents Unit are investigating. RESOURCE LINK
  7. Thursday morning in Edmonton on the Anthony Henday another Tow Truck was Struck. Tow Truck Operator was in the truck with the customer at the time of impact, both are OK. This is the 4th incidents this month in the Edmonton Region.
  8. A Tow Truck / Roll Back belonging to Griff's Auto Service out of Rochester, NY was struck by a Dump Truck on Thursday. The tow truck operator was injured in the accident. "SEE UPDATE BELOW" Deputies investigating crash between tow truck and dump truck in Chili CHILI, N.Y. (WHEC) — Monroe County Sheriff’s deputies are investigating a crash involving a tow truck and a dump truck. It happened on I-490, just east of the Paul Road overpass for the exit that leads to the Town of Chili. Deputies say it appears the tow truck was loading a broken down vehicle onto its flatbed portion of the tow truck then rolled over into the median. One person sustained minor injuries from the crash. Traffic was completely shut down in the area from 1 p.m. until 3:30 p.m. on Thursday afternoon. RESOURCE LINK
  9. As a supervisor for a local towing company, I am becoming more and more frustrated and saddened by witnessing drivers not slowing down or moving over while our operators are working on the side of our roadways and highways. Recently, while checking on one of our drivers performing a boost service on Highway 55 heading west just before Lively, he had his beacons and four-way flashers on, indicating that he was there working, while I was also there with my four-way flashers on. Only a few drivers moved over, while the majority (roughly 30) didn't slow down nor move over to the other lane. This is just one incident of many our drivers face every day, and it has to stop. I don't believe the average person is aware of this law, so I have taken a snippet from the Ontario Government website to hopefully educate the public in hopes of saving a tow truck driver's life. Drivers can be charged if they don't slow down, or move over when safe to do so, near emergency vehicles or tow trucks that are stopped with sirens or lights flashing. A first offence comes with a fine between $400 and $2,000, three demerit points and a possible suspension of driver's licence for up to two years. Subsequent offences (within five years) comes with a $1,000 to $4,000 fine, three demerit point, possible jail time (up to six months) and possible suspension of driver's licence for up to two years. Putting the fines and penalties aside, moving over and slowing down comes down to common sense. Too many people are killed needlessly working on the side of the road everyday where a driver could easily make the decision to slow down and move over, however, they sometimes don't and the result is most times deadly. Please consider others and let our drivers make it home safely to their loved ones. Scott Dormer Lively RESOURCE LINK
  10. https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-7919791/Train-smashes-truck-stuck-level-crossing.html
  11. An Illinois man was arrested after authorities say he was serviced by a tow truck driver earlier this month and fled the scene and ran over the driver's foot. Bryant M. Williams, 39, faces fourth-degree theft and assault charges in connection to the incident. On the night of Jan. 11, Williams was stuck on Herbert Hoover Highway Northeast and Wapsi Avenue and called a tow truck service, according to a complaint. After the tow truck driver moved his car, the report says Williams walked up to the driver, who told him the bill was $472.76 for the tow. Williams allegedly went back to his car and then left. According to the complaint, the truck driver said that when Williams drove away, his car hit his leg and ran over his foot. Authorities say Williams admitted to driving that night and said he told the driver the next day he would pay him $100 a week or when he got paid. He was booked into the Johnson County Jail on Wednesday night, according to jail records. RESOURCE LINK
  12. Triple-A is launching a new campaign-- aimed at protecting Tow truck drivers and first responders. In Florida-- the law requires drivers to move over for law enforcement and paramedics – but many don't know it also applies to OTHER emergency vehicles stopped on the side of the road.
  13. Man dead after fatal collision near Innisfail One man is dead after a semi-truck with trailers collided with a stopped tow truck near Innisfail. Late Wednesday evening at approximately 11 p.m., the fatal crash occurred on Highway 2 south of Highway 42 north of Innisfail and about 130 kilometres north of Calgary. The tow truck was stopped and assisting a disabled vehicle and its driver was outside of the truck, according to RCMP. The semi-truck collided with the back of the tow truck and caught fire. The 62-year-old driver, of Edmonton, was unable to exit the vehicle and was declared dead on scene. RCMP have not released their identity. RCMP said the tow truck driver and the person they were assisting were not injured. The tow truck had extensive damage. Innisfail and Blackfalds RCMP responded to the collision. Traffic was diverted throughout Thursday morning while investigators were on scene. RESOURCE LINK
  14. Martinsville tow truck driver continues to cheat death, blames intersection for recent events MARTINSVILLE, Ind. — A Martinsville tow truck driver continues to cheat death, and this time he’s blaming a difficult intersection for his troubles. We first told you about Brian Wagaman in late December. A car spun out of control while he was on scene at a crash, and it likely would have killed him if he stepped out. “I would probably say about five or six serious times,” Wagaman said of his extra lives. On Monday, a car was heading the wrong-way down highway 67 near Centerton Road in Martinsville. The driver nearly collided head-on with Wagaman’s tow truck as he traveled down the highway. There were two cars in the lanes to the right of Wagaman, so he could not switch lanes. “In between all the brake lights, I saw a white light coming, and saw the cars swerving in front of me,” Wagaman recounted, “I just held on for dear life, and kept going. Luckily, they swerved, and went off the road.” Wagaman says that intersection is difficult. A large median separates the north and south lanes of 67 with Centerton Road cutting through the middle. “I think its an intersection like no other,” said Indiana State Patrol Sgt. Curt Durnil, “It's an intersection, especially if you are on the four lane, you can’t see everything out the front of your windshield." Wagaman says drivers get confused coming out of a nearby gas station. “People assume it's a single highway, not a split highway," Wagaman said, "If you’re not local, it would be really easy to go northbound in southbound lanes.” There is a "Do not enter" sign by the gas station, and a one-way road sign. Wagaman says at night they can be harder to see given all the activity going through. RESOURCE LINK with video
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