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TowNews

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  1. A pair of central Alberta men are facing more than a dozen charges after allegedly driving a stolen tow truck. Mounties in Innisfail observed a stolen tow truck and used a deflation device to stop the vehicle in Red Deer. RCMP said the occupants in the vehicle fled on foot and then allegedly tried to steal another vehicle. The pair was apprehended by the Red Deer police dog services. Isaiah Noble, 20, of Red Deer, is facing charges of robbery (alleged attempted theft of the vehicle), possession of a weapon dangerous to the public, possession of stolen property and failure to comply with probation. Peter George Walker, 33, of Innisfail, is facing charges of robbery (alleged attempted theft of the vehicle), flight from police, possession of stolen property, possession of a controlled substance and failure to comply with recognizance, amongst others. Both have been remanded pending a bail hearing on Feb. 19. RESOURCE LINK
  2. TowNews

    PTA MEETS PSP on FR 6-6

    The Executive Board for the Pennsylvania Towing Association met with the Pennsylvania State Police to discuss recent changes in the FR 6-6 application process. The PTA did not produce the new application and they did not take part in the any of the changes. FR 6-2 (PSP Meeting 2/4/19) Appendage B Application to Provide Emergency Towing Services FORM SP 6-151 Purpose: The most recent towing application by the Pennsylvania State Police (PSP) was the result of minor changes made in effort to protect the motoring public during the non-consensual towing process. PSP is requesting reasonable and customary fees from the towing industry.These fees will act as a baseline cost for specific care as throughout the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania to avoid potential consumer fraud. The driver of a vehicle involved in a collision or disablement still retains the right to call their own towing service, if the situation permits. This would eliminate the non-consensual towing process and allow the towing company to provide their own reasonable and customary charges.However, the requested service provider must be within a reasonable distance of the collision or disablement. The law enforcement officer has the right to make that determination based on time it would take to restore the highway. The addendum's previously submitted by many of the towing companies will no longer be permitted or accepted as part of the application process. The fees normally submitted in the addendum should be built into the hourly rates requested in the application. This current application does not allow for any fees other than those listed on the application.A tow company does have the right to withdraw their application or submit an updated application at any time.PSP is anticipating requesting updated applications from towers at least every two years. PSP considers these changes to the towing application to be minor.They are currently working on more significant changes.The PTA has requested to meet withPSPto discuss these changes before they are implemented. note: most grammar and spelling errors were corrected from source. RESOURCE LINK
  3. HOUSTON — A woman led police on a 40-mile chase in a stolen tow truck Wednesday night with someone's car attached to it. It started in Houston and ended in Conroe. The owner of the tow truck stopped at a gas station on Highway 288 and Reed Road. The woman jumped in and sped off. Authorities arrested her in a Montgomery County neighborhood. RESOURCE LINK With Video Woman arrested after jumping into tow truck and stealing it from gas station in south Houston HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- A woman was arrested after she was caught on video stealing a tow truck with a vehicle on it from a gas station. It happened around 7:30 p.m. at the Valero on Reed Road and SH-288 in south Houston. Authorities say a wrecker driver with National Roadside stopped to get gas and went inside the store to use the restroom. While he was gone, the woman, who was also inside the store, walked out, got in the truck and drove off. Surveillance video shows the tow truck driver later walk out of the store and discover his truck was gone. He called his boss, who notified police. The truck had GPS tracking on it. Around 9 p.m., Houston police told Montgomery County officials that the stolen truck was in their area on FM 1314 near SH 99. As units with DPS, Montgomery County Sheriff's Office and Precinct 4 constables tried to catch up with the truck, it turned into the Magnolia Bend subdivision off FM 1314 and stopped on Ponderosa Circle and Hickory. The woman was taken into custody, and the stolen tow truck was recovered. The wrecker driver was about to drop off a customer's vehicle when the truck was taken. The woman will be charged with unauthorized use of a motor vehicle. RESOURCE LINK With Video includes video of the moment the truck was stolen.
  4. No one was hurt when a tow truck was struck in Waseca County earlier this week. According to the Waseca County Sheriff's Office, a Bock's Service truck was on the side of the road assisting a driver when it was struck. The sheriff's office is asking drivers to "please slow down, especially when you see emergency responders and road crews." Waseca County Sheriff's Office This is what we are talking about folks! Please slow down, especially when you see emergency responders and road crews. Bock's Service is a key partner to law enforcement. This post of their tow truck being struck brings things much closer to home for many. Fortunately, no one was hurt or killed here, but we REALLY need people to pay attention so everyone can get to their destinations safely.
  5. Jennifer Landers, Executive Director, Community Assistance Center accepts $1,875 worth of gas cards donated by Amy Milstead, President of the Milstead Automotive Group as a result of their “Buy One, Gift One” holiday promotion. “It is easy for us to jump in our cars and go to work, but I am always amazed to discover how many families in our community struggle with finding the money to just put gas in their car,” said Amy Milstead, President of Milstead Automotive Group. “We teamed with Community Assistance Center again this year to help out, and with our customers’ and continuing community support, we were able to donate 75 gas cards. It’s clear that the need is all year, not just during the holidays!” “We are always thrilled to partner with Milstead Automotive,” noted Jennifer Landers, Executive Director, Community Assistance Center. “And we always appreciate how they continually give back to the community. It truly is a privilege to team with them. Gas cards are one of the staples that we need all year round as many people are struggling to get to work, and the extra money for gas is a blessing.” For more information about the Community Assistance Center please visit www.cac-mctx.org About Milstead Group Milstead Group owns Milstead Automotive, Milstead Transmission, Milstead Fleet Services, Milstead RV Repair, Milstead Towing and Milstead Collision. Milstead Automotive is a family-owned and operated, full service automotive & collision repair facility servicing the areas of Montgomery and Harris County. The company was founded in 1971 by Dick Milstead where he offered customers honest, quality auto repair from his 2-car garage. Since that time, the business has grown into a 29-bay facility where customers can be assured that Milstead’s updated technology fits todays smarter vehicles whether foreign or domestic, large or small. Milstead also has the largest fleet of towing and recovery vehicles in Montgomery County and has updated GPS dispatching 24 hours a day 7 days a week. Milstead Automotive offers a variety of Fleet services to keep those vehicles moving. The wide range of services span from Pick Up & Delivery, Computerized Fleet Management, and Scheduled Preventative Maintenance to Hydraulic Service/Repairs, Jump Starts Maintenance & Priority Scheduling Mechanical Repairs and 24-Hour Dispatch . . . and a whole lot more. If a truck is stuck on the side of the road, the Milstead Automotive Mobile Fleet Services department has ASE certified technicians ready and waiting for the call. The fleet of vehicles is equipped with Truck-Mounted Compressors, Generators, Welder, Jump Start Ports. Fully Functioning Vise, Oil Dispensing/Retrieval System, Power Inverter, Tire Repair/Replacement Tools, Latest Diagnostic Tools/Software, Pneumatic Air Tools, Traffic Control Lighting, Hydraulic Hoses that are Custom Made, Common Repair Parts Stocked, ASE Certified Technician/Advisors, and CDL Drivers. Dick Milstead’s legacy continues as his daughter, Amy Milstead, and youngest son, Rick Milstead, work diligently to keep “Milstead” in the forefront of the automotive industry. Amy Milstead's achievements includes Leadership Montgomery County 2003, Past Chairman of the Board for Texas Towing & Storing Association (TTSA); Vice Chair, Texas Department of License Regulations; Towing & Storage Advisory Board and served as Chairman of the Board for The Woodlands Area Chamber of Commerce for the 2013-2014 term. Milstead Automotive earned Best of the Woodlands, Best Car Repair 2018 and Best Collision Repair 2018 and is a member of ATRA. Milstead Automotive is also a Bosch Authorized Center and a AAA Approved Repair Facility with an A+ BBB rating. Milstead Automotive and Collision technicians are ASE and I-CAR certified and receive continued education to stay up to date with technology to ensure proper repairs. For more information visit www.milsteadautomotive.com or www.milsteadcollision.com RESOURCE LINK with images
  6. Posted 02.11.19 Dennis Carter said: Ironically this was this morning in Richmond as they were to discuss excluding amber lights from the Slow Down Move Over law.
  7. HASTINGS, Minn. (FOX 9) - A Dakota County sheriff's deputy was hit by a pickup truck while he was in his squad car assisting a tow truck Tuesday night. The deputy was dispatched to assist a tow truck driver near the interstection of 160th Street and Goodwin Avenue outside Hastings, Minnesota when his squad car was struck by an oncoming vehicle, according to the sheriff's office. The impact of the crash caused the squad car to spin and get hit a second time. Neither the deputy nor the driver of the pickup truck was injured. In light of the recent weather events, authorities are reminding drivers to slow down and move over when they see emergency vehicles. The Minnesota State Patrol said 10 of their squad cars have been hit since the beginning of February--five of those crashes had injuries. RESOURCE LINK with images
  8. Mini-van came loose from tow truck PORT HUENEME, Calif. - A Port Hueneme Police Officer is recovering after a mini-van pinned her underneath a vehicle during a traffic collision. Authorities blocked off a portion of North Ventura Road in Port Hueneme Sunday night just after 7 p.m. when a police officer became pinned underneath a mini-van. “She was shaken up about the incident,” said Port Hueneme Police Sergeant Eric Starna. Officer Gladys Rosete responded to a minor 3-car traffic collision earlier that night, but it quickly took a turn for the worse. Airport Towing arrived on scene to remove a mini-van that was involved in the crash. “During the process of the vehicle loaded onto the bed of the tow truck, the vehicle came loose and rolled back down on the bed,” said Starna. “It collided with another vehicle that had already been involved in the collision, and a portion of the vehicle pinned officer Rosete down on the ground.” “Tomorrow the high way patrol is sending out a tow truck inspector to assist with the investigation to see what actually happened last night,” said Starna. Police say that Officer Rosete was transported to St. John’s hospital were she was treated for injuries to her legs and right hip. She was released from the hospital late Sunday night. Officer Gladys Rosete was pinned by a mini-van that came loose from a tow truck while responding to a vehicle accident in Port Hueneme. (Port Hueneme Police Department) RESOURCE LINK
  9. DELTA, Colo. (KKCO/KJCT)-- Dozens of tow trucks and emergency vehicles lined up in Delta to honor Ryan Wells, a man killed in a snow-cat accident on the Grand Mesa. More than 30 tow trucks and emergency vehicles lined up in front of the Delta Performing Arts Center, to honor 30-year-old Ryan Wells, who died in a snow-cat accident on the Grand Mesa. Wells owned Ol' Red's Towing on F Road in Delta, for the past six years. Tow truck drivers and others in the tow businesses described Wells as someone who ran his business for the community, and understood what it meant to serve others. A tow truck carried him to his final resting place at the Delta Cemetery. "He was important here, and he had a business that took care of people here, and people understood that. That's one thing that makes it important is, what's your service for the community? And what do you do for the people you are around? Ryan was always out there doing it." said Randy Heisa, Tow Truck Driver for Western Towing. Randy drove down from Grand Junction to be there for the funeral while other tow companies made longer trips from towns such as Glenwood Springs and Norwood. RESOURCE LINK with video
  10. LEDUC TOWING & RECOVERY reported they had a driver struck Friday, February 8, 2019. Does anyone have further details of this incident?
  11. PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — They’re called chasers — local tow truck drivers who race each other to the scenes of accidents to get the tow. When they get there, it can sometime turn violent, like in early February, when police say one tow truck driver shot another who was wielding a baseball bat at the scene of a crash on Washington Boulevard. “What we’ve had historically is a wild, wild west. It’s been a free-for-all where when there are accidents on city streets, whoever gets there first and gets their business card in front of a crash victim was winning multi-hundreds of dollars of towing fees,” Dan Gilman, Mayor Bill Peduto’s chief of staff, said. The administration wants to put the brakes on the chasers once and all. Instead of having tow trucks racing in the street, the city would establish a half dozen districts and have a designated towing company for each one. “This isn’t trying to create a monopoly. It’s not trying to cut anyone out of business. We could have as many as six tow truck operator companies still doing business with the city,” Gilman said. Over the years, KDKA has done several stories on folks having their cars towed and not being able to locate them, only to be charged days later with exorbitant towing and storage fees in the thousands of dollars. Gilman says new city rules would address that too, limiting fees but allowing the companies to make a living without deceptive or dangerous practices. “We want to support our local businesses. We want to support entrepreneurs, but it needs to be done safely,” he said. This is a request to the towing companies to bid on one of six towing contracts. Each winner would be assigned a zone in the city that would be theirs alone; no other company could tow cars from accident scenes within that zone. The city believes that this would do away with the chasing once and for all. RESOURCE LINK with video UPDATED: Pittsburgh tow truck drivers doubtful about proposed city procedures Monday morning’s precipitation mix caused fender benders and crashes from the South Side to Squirrel Hill. Just after 7 a.m., emergency dispatchers could be heard over a police scanner radio discussing three cars that slid off Potomac Avenue in the city’s Banksville neighborhood. Tow truck drivers were certainly tuned in — just as they are beginning to dial in to a city plan that could dramatically change the way they do business in Pittsburgh. “There’s quite a few companies that are legitimate companies, and they listen to a police scanner,” said Jason Watkins, owner of Jay’s Towing in Brighton Heights. “We know all the streets in the city, we go to a wreck.” He said there are some “bad” operators in the business that are considered “chasers” because they hurry to accident scenes in hopes of hooking the resulting business. The city of Pittsburgh is now trying to stop so-called chaser tow truck drivers from racing to crash scenes, which public safety officials say “creates unsafe conditions” — a justification that comes just weeks after an incident in which one tow truck driver critically injured another after arguing at a crash site within city limits. The city announced Friday that it has launched a bidding process for towing companies to split coverage areas. But some in the towing industry are afraid the regulations will kill business. Mr. Watkins, who lives in Brighton Heights, said he heard about the city’s effort when another person in the industry gave him a call. “Is it going to push out the good ones or bad ones? I don't know. There’s not enough answers out there,” said Mr. Watkins, who said he’s looked at the city website and has called to ask questions. In an effort to stop the chasing, the city is seeking to designate one towing company to respond to car crash scenes in each of the city’s six police zones. Companies can bid on more than one zone. According to the city’s request for proposals, eligible towing companies must have at least three trucks on call that each have a gross vehicle weight rating of 17,500 pounds; be able to provide a flatbed that could haul two vehicles simultaneously; and have a facility that can store at least 10 vehicles within a two-mile radius of the city. Additionally, towing charges would be determined by the city’s towing ordinance, which now sets pickup fees for passenger cars, light trucks and motorcycles at $135. Mr. Watkins said his company operates five tow trucks, including flatbeds, and that he could store up to 11 vehicles inside his Brighton Heights garage, or as many as 40 on his outside property. He charges $395 for a tow from a crash scene. Mr. Watkins said that adjusting to a lower fee is “not going to be feasible” for his business when considering his operating costs of plates, insurance and maintenance. But according to Mayor Bill Peduto’s administration, “safety and customer protections” are paramount for those who find themselves in car crashes or disabled vehicles on city streets. “When numerous tow trucks hurry to the scene of a vehicle crash it creates several safety concerns,” Pittsburgh’s Public Safety Director Wendell Hissrich wrote in an emailed statement Monday. “First, they are competing to get to the scene and therefore often speed and break traffic laws to get there first, which creates unsafe conditions. Second, as many as six tow trucks can show up for a single-vehicle crash, which adds to traffic congestion,” Mr. Hissrich said that he’s been to crash scenes where tow truck drivers have gotten into arguments. “Police officers then have to act as mediators when they should be focused on assisting victims or directing traffic. It's not safe. From a public safety perspective, the time has come for action,” he continued. On Feb. 2 an argument between two tow truck drivers in Homewood led to a shooting that left one of them in critical condition, according to police. The incident on Washington Boulevard near Shetland Avenue occurred when multiple tow truck drivers responded to an accident and two of them got into an argument. One pulled a baseball bat from his truck, and another drew a gun and shot the first, according to police. This is not the first time the city has butted heads with the towing industry. Pittsburgh police have publicly complained in recent years about trouble between tow truck drivers. And in 2012, local towing business owner John F. Halbleib filed an injunction in federal court against the city after he claimed towing business was unfairly given to city contractor McGann and Chester. He settled the case with the city in 2013. Mr. Halbleib, who owns the Hazelwood-based businesses Halbleib Auto Body and D-Maxx Authomotive, said he plans to fight the city’s new plans. Among several issues he sees with regulations, he said, he disagrees with a provision in the city’s request for proposals that states that towing businesses affiliated with auto body shops cannot apply for one of the zones. Additionally, he said that splitting the service between the zones will hinder his business. “Sometimes there’s not even one wreck in your zone for two days,” he said. The city deadline for bid applications is March 8. RESOURCE LINK
  12. Man accused of opening fire on tow truck driver in Southwest Ranches SOUTHWEST RANCHES, FLA. (WSVN) - Police arrested a man accused of opening fire on a tow truck driver in Southwest Ranches. Juan Barquero is facing several charges, including attempted felony murder. The 57-year-old allegedly shot at a tow truck driver who was in the process of repossessing the suspect’s Mercedes-Benz, Thursday morning. Police said Barquero ordered the driver and another person to drop the car. When they refused, shots were fired into the truck. No injuries were reported. RESOURCE LINK with video
  13. Driver dies after his tow truck hits a tree in Newport News Newport News emergency crews extricated the driver from the tow truck, but he died at the scene. NEWPORT NEWS, Va. — A tow truck hit a tree killing the driver early Thursday morning, Newport News police said. The call of a vehicle crash came in around 1:59 a.m. at Menchville Road and Warwick Boulevard. Assistant PIO Brandon Maynard said a tow truck hit a tree and when emergency crews arrived the driver needed to be extricated from the truck. The man died at the scene. The department's Crash Team is investigating the crash. The intersection of Menchville Road and Warwick Boulevard northbound is blocked at this time due to the accident investigation, Maynard said. The driver's name will be released after relatives have been notified. RESOURCE LINK with video
  14. DAVIE, FLA. (WSVN) - A tow truck driver was shot at several times as he was in the process of repossessing a vehicle in Davie. Davie Police units were called to the scene in the area of Southwest 63rd Street and 188th Avenue, Thursday morning. The driver said that as he was preparing to tow a Mercedes-Benz, gunmen came after him and started shooting. “I just put my head down and kept on driving,” he told 7News. “I felt one go behind my neck; the heat of the bullet. Other than that, I don’t know what was going on.” Video from the scene showed a bullet hole on the side of the Mercedes-Benz and a shattered window on the tow truck. The victim credited his seat’s headrest after one of the bullets became lodged inside of it. No injuries were reported. Police continue to investigate. If you have any information on this shooting, call Broward County Crime Stoppers at 954-493-TIPS. Remember, you can always remain anonymous, and you may be eligible for a $3,000 reward. RESOURCE LINK with video Another RESOURCE LINK with video
  15. TowNews

    Wrecker driver kidnapped at gunpoint (OK)

    Man Arrested After Kidnapping Tow Truck Driver In McIntosh County McINTOSH COUNTY, Oklahoma - Investigators say an armed man kidnapped a McIntosh County tow truck driver at gunpoint on Monday. The District Attorney’s office says the truck driver stopped to help Rafael Torres who had crashed into a ditch. They say the Torres then pulled a gun forcing the driver back into his truck and demanding a ride to Arkansas. Sometime after crossing the state line detectives say the victim was able to escape and contact police. Torres was arrested a short time later. RESOURCE LINK with video Wrecker driver details harrowing experience with kidnapper A local wrecker driver said an Oklahoma City man who kidnapped him at gunpoint had him drive around aimlessly. “We drove around Oklahoma for a couple hours,” said Jonathon Serrato. “We went to Tulsa, Siloam Springs and Fayetteville before everything was all said and done. The whole time, he kept saying somebody was after him. We had a bunch of different cars passing us and he would point at one of them and say somebody was after me.” Rafael Torres, 35, faces extradition from Conway County, Arkansas, after kidnapping Serrato on Monday from McIntosh County, according to a release from the McIntosh County District Attorney’s Office. Torres was charged Thursday with kidnapping, feloniously pointing a firearm, and possession of a firearm after a felony conviction. Torres allegedly forced Serrato, a driver for Morgan’s Wrecker, to drive Torres over 450 miles from McIntosh County to Tulsa and then back across the state line into Arkansas. According to an affidavit filed with the case, Serrato was traveling on Interstate 40 near mile marker 254 when he spotted a silver car in a ditch. Torres was standing in the roadway and waving his hands. After Serrato stopped to check on him, Torres approached the wrecker and demanded a ride. When Serrato refused, Torres threatened him with a .45 caliber handgun. “I saw a car wrecked in the ditch eastbound side. I pulled over to check over on him. He came up to me saying, ‘I need to get somewhere safe,’” Serrato said. “I called dispatch and said I needed OHP [Oklahoma Highway Patrol] out to my location. He ran around the side of the door, produced a gun and basically forced himself inside.” From there, Torres commanded Serrato to drive. Torres was arrested in Morrilton, Arkansas, after the wrecker stopped for fuel. Serrato signaled for someone to notify authorities of his situation, the affidavit states. “What it was, we’d stopped for fuel at a little gas station. I told him I had to go inside and pay with a company card. He asked me can you pay with cash, and I said we need more than I got on me in cash,” Serrato said. “He finally allowed me to get out of the truck to go inside and pay for the fuel. I told him I was going to use the bathroom. I asked a gentleman to call 911 for me.” When police arrived, Torres went peacefully, Serrato said. “He didn’t put up a fight or resist much,” Serrato said. “From what I hear, he isn’t denying any of it, either.” Torres has a history with carjacking, according to the affidavit. He was convicted in 2004, 2005 and 2007 on separate charges of taking a vehicle without consent. All of those cases took place in Los Angeles County, California. Torres is being held without bond in the Conway County Jail. As for Serrato, he went back to work the next day, he said. “My grandpa used to say if the horse bucks you, you get right back on and you keep on going,” Serrato said. “I’m just taking it one day at a time.” RESOURCE LINK
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