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TowNews

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  1. Passing from father to son to great-grandson this is: HERMITAGE — Even before Josh Cidila could walk, he was going on tow truck runs with his grandfather. He even had a onesie emblazoned with the name of the family business. Kilgore Towing, which marked its 70th anniversary this week, is a family business, and not just in the sense that Roger took over the business in 1972 from his father, Grant. The child safety seats in his big flatbed emphasize the primacy of family. “When they were born, before they went home from the hospital, they each got a picture with my dad in front of a tow truck,” said Roger’s daughter, and Josh’s mom, Jennifer Cidila. Roger Kilgore grew up in the solid brick building on East State Street in Hermitage that then — as now — serves as the headquarters of Kilgore Towing. The business was founded as an Esso gas station in 1948. By the time Roger took over the business, it was an Ashland station, about to become Union 76, before he tore out the pumps to concentrate on service, towing and truck rentals. After taking over the business from his father and seeing it through for 46 years, Roger is preparing to hand over the business, not to the next generation, but the generation after that. When the time comes, which won’t be for at least a few more years, 15-year-old Josh will be the next Kilgore to run business. And he’s been waiting for a long time, his mom said. Josh has been his grandfather’s sidekick since he went on that first tow truck run at the age of 6 weeks. “Since he went to preschool, he called it his business,” Jennifer said. “People used to say that he was a 50-year-man in a 4-year-old body.” Josh won’t have a driver’s license for about another year, so Roger drives the tow truck on its runs, but Josh does most of the tow truck runs, except when he is in school at Hickory High School. But he would much rather be at the former than the latter. “I’d choose here over school any day,” he said. And Roger would rather have Josh or one of his other grandchildren — Joey Cidila, 12, Emma Kate Wanchisn, 5, and Isabelle Wanchisn, 3. When he ordered his latest flatbed tow truck, Roger wanted a four-door cab, which made it larger than normal, in case all four of his grandchildren went along for the ride. But even if they aren’t with him in body, they always accompany him in spirit. Their names are painted in blue on the big flatbed’s white cab. Jennifer said her father instilled his daughters with a strong work ethic. She works at an accounting firm in New Castle, and her sister, Amy Wanchisn, is principal at Artman Elementary School in the Hermitage School District. “His philosophy was you treat the customer the way you’d like to be treated and you’ll do just fine,” Jennifer said. He is now passing those lessons along to his grandchildren. Josh said he is looking forward to the day when he can drive and hook up vehicles, and beyond that to when he is behind the counter at Kilgore Towing. “I haven’t gotten a chance to think about it that much,” he said. “It’s more about the shoes I’m going to have to fill, my grandfather, my great-grandfather.” RESOURCE LINK with images
  2. TYLER, TX (KLTV) - UPDATE: DPS said the wreck has been cleared and all lanes are back open. A wreck involving a tow truck is slowing westbound traffic on Interstate 20 near Tyler. According to the Department of Public Safety, troopers are currently on scene of the wreck. DPS said they received a report of a tow truck off the roadway and in a ditch off of the westbound lanes of I-20, just east of the FM 14 exit. Westbound traffic is down to one lane as crews work to clear the scene. According to a reporter on the scene, traffic is backed up for about 3 miles due to the wreck.
  3. ONLY 4 YEARS FOR DUI AND TAKING A LIFE: A drunk driver who ran over and killed a 28-year-old tow truck driver trying to help a stranded motorist in Temecula was sentenced Thursday to four years in state prison. Danika Lee McGetrick, 20, of Temecula pleaded guilty last month to DUI gross vehicular manslaughter for the 2017 death of Kyle Daniel Crull of Wildomar. According to the California Highway Patrol, McGetrick slammed into Crull with her 2016 Kia Optima as he stood on the shoulder of the southbound I-15 near the Temecula Parkway exit. Investigators said that about 11:30 p.m. on Oct. 21, Crull, an employee of DJ’s Towing Co., had arrived at the location to assist a stranded motorist, who had called the Auto Club for a tow. RESOURCE LINK
  4. Sept. 20 (UPI) -- A tow truck driver's attempt to drive a damaged Jeep onto his truck ended in disaster when the vehicle rolled backward, lost a wheel and ended up on its side. The video, recorded in Oak Harbor, Wash., shows the driver driving the visibly-damaged Jeep up the ramp to his tow truck, but the Jeep quickly rolls backward, loses a wheel and goes over a curb, flopping onto its side. The driver quickly exits the vehicle and shows he is not injured. "The Jeep came in a few weeks prior for an insurance claim, it needed a lot of suspension work and the insurance company decided to total it," the filmer wrote. "The Jeep was in our back lot where the tow truck couldn't fit so the tow truck driver decided to drive it over to his truck, we told him it didn't have any brakes and was unsafe to drive," the man wrote. "We have no idea what he was thinking trying to drive in up the ramp. It broke the natural gas meter off and a large amount of natural gas leaked out. Fortunately, no one was hurt, the fire department and police came," the filmer said. RESOURCE LINK With Video
  5. The man who allegedly stabbed the truck driver is believed to be related to the woman who was fatally struck, Middlesex District Attorney Marian Ryan said. A flatbed tow truck struck and killed a woman near Watertown Square on Wednesday morning, according to authorities, and then a man allegedly stabbed the driver five times. The alleged stabber, who is believed to be related to the deceased woman, was taken into custody at the scene, Middlesex District Attorney Marian Ryan told reporters Wednesday afternoon. The truck driver was taken to a Boston hospital where he was in critical condition, she said. Ryan said police responded to Watertown Street (Route 16) near its intersection with Galen Street and Nonantum Road around 11:20 a.m. for a report of a “road rage episode” in progress. Responding officers found that a woman in her late 60s had been hit by a truck. She was pronounced dead at the scene, Ryan said. “[When the woman was hit], a younger man — believed to be related to the victim — became engaged in an altercation with the driver of the tow truck,” she told reporters. “The driver of the tow truck was stabbed approximately five times in the torso.” The alleged stabber was also taken to a hospital, according to Ryan, who did not disclose why he was hospitalized. No names have been released. “As you can see this is a very active scene,” Ryan said. “We’re going to be here for a number of hours. Obviously it’s going to impact traffic in this area.” On Twitter, police asked motorists and pedestrians to use alternatives to Watertown Street following the incident. The crime scene is near the busy MBTA Watertown Yard bus station. “This is a very busy intersection come rush hour,” Watertown Police Chief Michael Lawn said. “We just ask the public to help us out and try to stay away from this general area.” The Middlesex District Attorney’s office, Watertown police, and state police are investigating the incident. RESOURCE LINK
  6. Tow truck driver injured in hit-and-run; Pittsfield Twp. police looking for suspect PITTSFIELD TOWNSHIP, Mich. - A tow truck driver was injured in a hit-and-run Sunday morning after assisting a disabled vehicle in Pittsfield Township, police said. The 37-year-old male, a Pittsfield Township resident, was returning to his tow truck after assisting the vehicle on northbound State Road when he was struck and fell to the ground, according to investigators. The worker was wearing a reflective safety vest and the tow truck's emergency lights were activated when he was hit, police said. The disabled vehicle had already left the scene. An uninvolved motorist came upon the tow truck driver and called 911, according to investigators. The man was transported to a local hospital where he was treated for serious, but non-life-threatening injuries. The vehicle that struck the worker was described as an older sedan with possible damage to the front end, passengers side and windshield. Investigators said it may have been from the Saline area. Anyone who witnessed the crash or may have information on the suspect is asked to contact Pittsfield Police at 734-822-4911. An investigation is ongoing. RESOURCE LINK
  7. Two drivers street racing cause fiery crash on Indy’s west side, tow truck destroyed INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – Two people are under arrest and charged with criminal recklessness after police say they were street racing and caused a fiery crash, involving an innocent bystander. The crash occurred around 11:30 p.m. in the 6700 block of Rockville Road. Police tell us a Ford and a Pontiac were street racing on Rockville Road near Girls School Road when they came across a wrecker. The wrecker had all of its lights on. The Ford bypassed the wrecker, but the Pontiac collided with it, and it became fully engulfed in fire. The force of that crash slammed the wrecker off the road and into a tree. It also burst into flames. “The tree was able to take the impact so that the house didn’t get involved – very fortunately that tree was there – it was a huge evergreen tree. It had flames all the way up it,” IMPD Cpt. Robert Troutt said. All occupants of the vehicles involved managed to escape. One of the drivers was transported to the hospital with minor injuries. Police are investigating as to whether alcohol played a role in the incident A juvenile was involved, but it’s unclear at this time what role the juvenile played in the crash. RESOURCE LINK with images
  8. UPDATE 09/12/18: Trevor A Haas of American pride towing lost his battle for life. He was hurt badly while working on his roll back. He leaves behind a Wife and 7 Children. American Pride Towing Owner Crushed Under Truck, Condition Critical Freeport, Illinois — Sept. 7th at 1:34 this afternoon Alber Towing announced on their Facebook page that they are asking the community to send prayers, as the owner of American Pride Towing is said to have been crushed underneath his truck. Trevor A. Haas was reportedly working on his truck this morning when, due to unknown circumstances this time, his tow truck fell on him. According to a GoFundMe page that has been established, Trevor crushed both sides of his skull while he was working on one of his tow trucks. He is currently at Mercyhealth listed in critical condition. Trevor and his wife Jennifer have 7 children, 3 younger ones still living at home. Please send your thoughts and prayers to the family. UPDATE: 9-9-2018 at 4:28 p.m. – According to the Pride strong For Trevor Haas And Family page, Trevor will succumb to his devastating injuries. Trevor’s sister Lisa says he was trying to fight but the brain injury was just to severe. UPDATE: A page has been created by the family to post updates. At 9:05 a.m. on Sunday the family posted that at the moment Trevor is stable but is still listed in critical condition. UPDATE: 9-8-2018 at around 3:15 a.m.. Trevor’s wife Jennifer told us in an email she is having to take time off from work and is asking the community if they can help with dog food and cat and pig food. The family also needs help with pull ups and wipes size 3t-4t for their youngest child, who will turn two on Friday. UPDATE: 9-8-2018 at around 9:00 p.m. Haas’ nephew stated that Haas was working under his flatbed truck when the flatbed platform came down on him and he was pinned between the platform and frame of the truck. Haas’ nephew stated that people from Shabbons, the floral shop, and diamond brothers insurance all ran to help rescue him. “Some were covered in blood and it was a terrifying scene for all involved. Today the Critical care Dr said that he will not survive this accident, if for some reason he survives it would have to be a miracle and he would never be the same again.” Haas’ nephew stated that Trevor has severe injuries, as his skull was crushed along with his chest and several other injuries. He’s still alive and on life support. RESOURCE LINK
  9. Minutes after midnight on Oct. 6, 1934, garage mechanic Kenneth Ray Davis pulled to the side of Mangrove Avenue and positioned his tow truck to haul away a vehicle that had crashed into a fence surrounding an almond orchard across the road from the Chico Cemetery. He’d been summoned by California Highway Patrolman William R. McDaniel to clear the wreck left by Nick Turchinetz—a local jeweler and ex-convict known to authorities for his predilection for hard drink and penchant for violence. As Davis set about hooking the vehicle to his truck, his work illuminated by a hand-held flashlight and the emergency beacon mounted on Officer McDaniel’s patrol motorcycle, the sound of gunfire erupted from within the dark orchard. The first bullet—fired by Turchinetz, who’d left the accident scene to fetch a rifle from his nearby home and returned to ambush the pair—struck Davis, with a subsequent shot hitting McDaniel. READ MORE: About the First Recorded Tow Truck Operator Killed in the Line of Duty. NOTE: The Towing & Recovery Industry owes Randall Resch a debt of gratitude for the detailed research. Kenneth Ray Davis will not be forgotten and we have Mr. Resch to thank for his diligence and time to bring us this tragic story that nearly went unheard. Written by Ken Smith and researched by Randall Resch. This Article was published on 09.06.18
  10. BLACK RIVER FALLS, Wis. (WEAU) -- A La Crosse man convicted in the death of a tow truck driver was back in court Thursday, asking for a new trial. It happened in 2014 along I-94 in Jackson County when a vehicle driven by Steven Dolan hit and killed Nathan Walsh. Walsh was on the side of the road loading a car onto his tow truck. In November 2015, a jury found Dolan guilty of homicide by negligent use of a vehicle. A judge ordered Dolan to spend five years on probation and report to jail for up to two weeks during each year of the five-year-term. Dolan is claiming his lawyer didn't do a good job representing him during the first trial because he didn't bring up that Dolan was on medication when the crash happened, which is what Dolan says may have caused the crash. Thursday, the court denied the motion for post-conviction relief. RESOURCE LINK with images
  11. SkyTrak7 is on the scene of a 3-vehicle accident involving a cement truck, tow truck and tanker truck (believed to be empty) on southbound Route 301 south of MD-4 in Upper Marlboro, according to Maryland State Police.
  12. Aug 29, 2018--While many drivers know to change lanes when a police cruiser or ambulance is stopped along a roadway, fewer of them know that tow trucks, too, are among the emergency vehicles that require drivers to ‘move over.’ According to the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration, all 50 states have some form of Move Over Law that directs drivers to change lanes in order to move away from emergency vehicles with visual signals such as flashing lights; drivers are to slow down if there is no other lane available. Still, towing associations across the country are finding that many motorists don’t know the law applies to tow trucks as well. Such unawareness can have tragic consequences. Between 50 and 100 tow truck operators lose their lives each year in roadside accidents, the Towing & Recovery Hall of Fame and Museum estimates. The Towing and Recovery Association of America and state towing groups have embarked on a campaign to educate drivers about the importance of moving over. Last October, awareness events were held across the country as part of the first-ever National Move Over Day. Assistant Vice President John Little oversees GEICO ’s Emergency Roadside Service, and he knows the dangers tow truck drivers face on the job each day. “Tow truck drivers and all emergency vehicle personnel want to do their jobs safely and go home to their loved-ones at the end of the day; we can all help them do that by obeying Move Over Laws and driving distraction-free,” Little said.
  13. A car plunged into a Palmer Township pond Wednesday afternoon 9/29/18 after it snapped free from a tow truck that was about to deliver it to its new owner, police said. No one was injured in the 6:12 p.m. mishap at 3600 Corrier Road, but the older model BMW sport utility vehicle may have some water damage, police said. “The tow company was putting the car on the back of a flatbed,” township police Sgt. Tom Vogel said. “They were reeling the car up and the chain broke and, when the chain broke, the car rolled down the hill and into the retention pond.” The car’s new owner appears to have bought it from someone at Palmer View Apartments and, even before the pond accident, planned to make repairs to the vehicle, Vogel said. It might take a little longer to get it running now, he said. “The water was half-way up the door,” he said. “It was down a steep embankment.” The same tow company that lost the car later pulled it out of the pond, Vogel said. RESOURCE LINK
  14. WESTMINSTER, MASS. (WHDH) - A tow truck burst into flames in Westminster late Monday night. A fire sparked on Knower Road just after 11 p.m., fully engulfing the truck. The local tow truck driver was passing through town after towing a vehicle when it caught on fire, police said. The driver was able to safely turn the truck off before firefighters arrived to extinguish the flames. Police say no one was injured. RESOURCE LINK With Video
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