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TowNews

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  1. MUSKEGON, Mich. — A West Michigan tow truck driver is getting national recognition for his bravery. On Saturday, Eagle Towing Operations Manager Andrew Heykoop received one of his industries highest honors for his quick response to a scary accident, six years ago. “It was a cold, wintry day and there were a lot of accidents in that area,” Heykoop said. Heykoop was working on US-31 in Muskegon, when a red Chevy truck passed by him, lost control and flipped several times. The scary crash was recorded on his tow truck’s dash cam. “They rolled over multiple times before they went off into the median and just hoped that once I got there, they were okay,” Heykoop recalled. Without thinking twice, he ran to help. Inside the truck were two infants and two adults, trapped inside. “There were no other emergency vehicles there so I had to call them in and treat the individuals,” Heykoop explained. He was able to get them out to safety. “Towers, that’s what we do. We go to work, we do our job, we help people along the way and that’s what our job entails,” Heykoop said. But Heykoop went above and beyond and this weekend was awarded the Towman Medal for bravery at the American Towman Expo in New Jersey. “I was one of a few inductees nationwide to receive the award. I felt very humbled and honored,” Heykoop said. But if you ask him, he was just doing his job. “I personally felt i just did my job and that’s just what we are here to do,” Heykoop added. RESOURCE LINK with Video
  2. WHITFIELD COUNTY, Ga. — Whitfield County Dispatch says there is a confirmed fatality after crash on I-75 in Whitfield County. Troopers were dispatched to a crash on I-75 northbound Sunday afternoon around 2:45 p.m. According to the Georgia Department of Transportation, a white Jeep Commander was traveling north in the right lane. A tow truck was picking up a broken down green Nissan Xterra in the right emergency lane. Officials say the driver of the Jeep Commander did not follow the move-over law and did not stay in his travel lane. The Jeep hit the back of the Nissan Xterra and then hit the tow truck. According to the Georgia State Police Public Information Officer, the Jeep rolled several times and came to an uncontrolled stop off the road down an embankment in a wooded area. Officials say the driver of the Jeep Commander was dead upon arrival, and the tow truck driver was not injured. RESOURCE LINK
  3. Having your car transported on a flatbed truck is no fun so the owner of a Mercedes-AMG C 63 S in Russia thought he’d have a little fun by doing a burnout in the sedan while it sat on a truck. It remains to be seen why the C 63 S was being moved on a flatbed because it appears to be working just fine. Nonetheless, the owner almost got a serious fright and came within seconds of potentially flying off the truck and down to the snowy pavement below. What Could Go Wrong? Mercedes-AMG Owner Does Burnout While Sitting On A Flatbed BY Brad Anderson | Posted on December 7, 2019 Having your car transported on a flatbed truck is no fun so the owner of a Mercedes-AMG C 63 S in Russia thought he’d have a little fun by doing a burnout in the sedan while it sat on a truck. It remains to be seen why the C 63 S was being moved on a flatbed because it appears to be working just fine. Nonetheless, the owner almost got a serious fright and came within seconds of potentially flying off the truck and down to the snowy pavement below. Rear-Wheel Drive Monster: Mercedes-AMG C63 S Driver Runs Out Of Talent And Into A Tree Initially, as the Mercedes’ rear wheels start to spin up on the back of the truck, everything appears in order. However, the power of the car’s 4.0-liter twin-turbo V8 proved too much for the straps holding the car in place with them breaking spectacularly and sending the C 63 S crashing into the front and one side of the bed. Footage captured once the truck had pulled over shows that the Mercedes slid off to the side of the flatbed, appearing to damage one of the rear wheels. Additionally, some damage was done to the front bumper of the Mercedes as it slid forward. As hilarious as this entire thing is, we have a feeling the owner probably isn’t all that concerned with the damage and how close they came to complete catastrophe. In the social media-crazed world that we live in, dangerous stunts like this are all too common as people seek out ways to try and go ‘viral’. https://www.carscoops.com/2019/12/what-could-go-wrong-mercedes-amg-owner-does-burnout-while-sitting-on-a-flatbed/
  4. SOUTH BEND — For the first time in more than three years, the city of South Bend will seek bids for a contract to handle police towing — a move that comes after The Tribune reported on questions about how the city has handled an exclusive deal with one company. A Tribune story last month traced how the city awarded the exclusive contract three years ago to ASAP Towing & Recovery — the lone bidder — despite other firms’ objections about the fairness of the bidding process. The other companies said they did not know of the city’s plans to abandon an on-call rotation and seek a lone contractor. ASAP, meanwhile, had expanded its capabilities with a larger property and a new wrecker weeks before the city publicly sought bids. The city has twice renewed the one-year contract without seeking new bids, once in 2017 and again this past May, despite a lack of oversight and data on ASAP’s performance. The city does not collect billing records from ASAP, even though the company’s contract gives the city the right to inspect that information at any time. On Tuesday, the city Board of Public Works will consider an amendment renewing ASAP’s contract again, but only until April 2, according to the board’s agenda. The company’s second extension was scheduled to expire at the end of the year, though it was not approved until this past May. The three-month extension will allow for a new round of bidding, in this case known as a request for proposals, said Mark Bode, a city spokesman. “The contract is scheduled to go out for request for proposals in 2020,” Bode said in an email. “Extending the current contract allows for a thorough RFP process.” When recently presented with some of ASAP’s activity in the weeks leading up to the 2016 bidding process, Board of Public Works president Gary Gilot said it “doesn’t look good,” and that he would be looking into the circumstances of the bidding before he approved the contract again. On the day ASAP purchased a new property in June 2016, the company posted a Facebook comment that alluded to a new opportunity. “Still no final word yet, but we picked up a portion that was totally unexpected,” the company said in a comment. “Still waiting for the slow wheels of government.” Gilot and mayor-elect James Mueller, who was on the Board of Public Works in 2016, have acknowledged the city did not take steps to maximize competition before awarding the contract. Bradley Colborn, a lawyer representing ASAP, provided a statement attributed to company president Paul Walters that noted the city publicly advertised for bids in 2016, and the company has “worked hard every day since then to provide fast, cost-effective towing services for the people of South Bend.” Colborn offered no comment on the reason for the three-month contract extension being considered by the city. ASAP tows upward of 3,000 vehicles a year for the police department, handling a job previously split by five companies on a rotation. The increased workload has led the company to largely cease private work, such as towing from commercial parking lots and apartment complexes, a company lawyer told the city in a recent letter. ASAP has also continued to expand, with the 2018 purchase of about five acres on Mayflower Road that will likely serve as its future home. According to minutes of the Board of Public Works, a police representative in May said the department would like to change the current one-year contract with ASAP to cover multiple years at a time. RESOURCE LINK
  5. CHUBBUCK, Idaho (KIFI/KIDK) - For over 30 years, Denny's Wrecker Service has been offering drivers in the Pocatello-Chubbuck area a safe way to get home during the holidays. Each year, from Dec. 14 through Jan. 1, the company offers to give you and your car a free ride home in an effort to prevent drunk driving. On average, the group will pick up nearly 75 drivers during the holiday period, Denny's officer manager Stephanie Sartin said. This year, you can call Denny's, "no questions asked," for a ride home. "We can't take you to another party, but we do take you home," Sartin explained. All you need for a ride is an operable vehicle and to live within Pocatello or Chubbuck city limits. "And if you've already been pulled over by the police, it's a little late," Sartin said. RESOURCE LINK with video
  6. ALBUQUERQUE, N.M.- A New Mexico family says their business was destroyed by a person in a stolen tow truck. Erika Estrada said the driver slammed the tow truck into her auto shop near Broadway and Gibson Thursday morning. "So far, we're just going to try and fix it up and continue -- keep on going," Estrada said. "We're not going to give up. We haven't done anything to anybody. We're just trying to survive basically." Estrada said the security cameras only show a person in a hoodie. She added that Albuquerque police and the Bernalillo County Sheriff's Office are working on the case because the tow truck was stolen from a business in the county. Estrada said this wasn't the first time her business was vandalized. She said the business has been hit several times over the last six months. RESOURCE LINK with video
  7. NJ man named AAA’s ‘Real Hero of the Road’ for his actions after deadly school bus crash A New Jersey tow truck company owner was honored Tuesday for his heroic actions after a school bus crashed on Interstate 80 in Mount Olive last year. The crash happened in May 2018. A school bus full of Paramus elementary school students was attempting to make a U-turn on the highway when a dump crash crashed into it. A student and teacher were killed and dozens more injured. Mike Benson says that he watched the crash happen and rushed out to do what he could to help save lives. It is why AAA presented him with the “Real Hero of the Road” award. “It’s just something that happened. I was in the right place at the right time to help,” Benson said, while getting emotional during the award ceremony. Benson owns Parsippany-based Powder Mill Towing. His friend and colleague Sonny Bhinsen nominated him for the award. “Definitely an unsung hero. I gotta say that. He goes above and beyond,” Bhinsen says. After the crash occurred, Benson parked his town truck on the highway to block oncoming traffic. Then he says that he ran to the bus to help. “I pulled a couple of kids out from under the bus, then crawled underneath the bus and went inside and cut some kids out of their seatbelts,” he says. Benson also performed CPR on one of the children, saving that child’s life. “As far as AAA is concerned, he's a real hero of the road and I think it's day in and day out he's out there doing that type of work along with service providers across the country,” says AAA director Bob Huffman. Ford also sponsored the award, so Benson will receive a new Ford pickup truck. He also recently won the “Outstanding EMS Action by a Citizen” award by the New Jersey Department of Health. RESOURCE LINK
  8. Slow Down, Move Over: New Brunswick the final province to add tow trucks to law Toronto, Ontario — New Brunswick has become the tenth province in the country to adopt tow trucks into its ‘Slow Down, Move Over’ law—which until now, only included police, fire and ambulance in its coverage. The inclusion of tow trucks in this law has been pushed for years by the widow of Nova Scotian Frank Deschenes, a Mountie who was killed when he was struck by a van while trying to help motorists change a flat tire. Along with the new provisions, New Brunswick will also be doubling the fines for distracted driving to $280 as well as the fine for passing a flashing school bus to $480 in an attempt to make its roads safer. Even with the revised ‘Slow Down, Move Over’ law in place, it is taking some motorists to catch on. Two weeks ago, two tractor-trailers failed to slow down or move over for a stopped tow truck on a northern Ontario highway, causing a collision. This itself came only weeks after an Ontario tower was killed in a roadside accident. RESOURCE LINK
  9. Towing company carries 95-year-old man to safety after car gets stuck in swamp WHITE CLOUD, MI (WXMI) — Jerry’s Towing & Recovery in White Cloud is redefining customer service this holiday season. After getting lost and stuck on the back roads in Newaygo County, the 95-year-old Diamond Lake resident had to leave his car and be carried to dry ground by two generous workers. The situation arose when the man went off-road on his way back home from a family Thanksgiving dinner. He lost his wife a few years back around this time of the year and is also a hospice patient, so he just wanted to have a little fun in the muddy mess of the trails. About two-mile into the expedition, he became stuck in feet of muck. Having no numbers on his phone, he could only call 911 for help. 911 dispatch relayed his cry for help to Jerry’s Towing, where they immediately sent drivers out. “One of the two wrecker drivers told me he didn’t know if they were going to be able to get to him being that they made it this far and couldn’t see how many holes were still there.” said Emily Paulsen, with Jerry’s Towing & Recovery. “My first thought with him being an older gentleman was that we have to get him out of there before it got freezing cold.” Unable to walk on his own, the drivers parked their cars. With the man in their arms, they walked back and forth through several muddy holes to make sure he was safe. On Black Friday, the crew took some of their own time to go back to the site and get the car out. Emily said there have been situations on the trails where people’s cars have been vandalized or impounded so they knew they had to get it out sooner rather than later. With a crew of five, they brought the best equipment they had to pull the vehicle out. They knew the man didn’t have adequate insurance to pay for the tow, so the company ended up doing it for free. Emily and all the workers say as we continue through the holiday season, remember to go out of your way for someone in need. RESOURCE LINK
  10. Tow truck driver shot person in Flint, police say FLINT, MI – One person was left critically injured after being shot by a tow truck driver Monday afternoon on Flint’s north side, police said. Officers with the Flint Police Department responded along with Michigan State Police and the Genesee County Sheriff’s Office for a report of a shooting around 3:15 p.m. Monday, Dec. 2 in the 4100 block of Donnelly Street, between Moore Street and Myrtle Avenue. Flint Interim Police Chief Phil Hart said the incident started as a neighbor dispute. “One neighbor called the tow truck on the other neighbor,” said Hart. When the tow truck driver arrived, the neighbors came out and an argument ensued. “The wrecker driver got hit in the head,” Hart said. “He drew his weapon and fired and struck someone at the scene.” A man was shot in the front yard of the residence. He was transported to a local hospital and listed in critical condition by medical personnel. The tow truck driver has also been hospitalized with a head injury, Hart said. He was taken into custody a few blocks from the shooting scene. The incident remains under investigation. Anyone with information about the incident is asked to contact Detective Sgt. Dave VanSingel at 810-237-6946 or report a tip anonymously to Crime Stoppers of Flint & Genesee County at 1-800-422-JAIL (5245), on the P3TIPS mobile app, or online at crimestoppersofflint.com or P3tips.com. RESOURCE LINK
  11. NYPD tow truck driver dies after suffering medical episode, hitting tree in Brooklyn MARINE, PARK, Brooklyn (WABC) -- Police say an on-duty NYPD tow truck driver died after suffering a medical episode Monday evening in Brooklyn. The incident happened at about 5:50 p.m. in Marine Park. The 61-year-old victim was driving a tow truck along Flatbush Avenue and Avenue R when he lost control and struck a tree, police said. He was taken to Mount Sinai Hospital, where he was pronounced dead. The investigation is ongoing. The driver's identity has not yet been released. RESOURCE LINK with video
  12. Second Crash Caused By Driver Not Moving Over For Wrecker On I-44 In SW OKC RESOURCE LINK with video One crash on I-44 turned into three Friday morning sending multiple drivers to the hospital. But new legislation aims to prevent accidents upon accidents like this in the future.
  13. FHP releases more details on fatal Florida Turnpike crash in Osceola County A crash on the Florida Turnpike has killed at least one person according to the Florida Highway Patrol. The crash near St. Cloud occurred after 10 a.m. Friday, Nov. 29, shutting down southbound lanes. According to a tweet from Spectrum News 13, the crash involved multiple vehicles, including a semi and a tow truck. No other details are available at this time. ST. CLOUD, Fla. - The Florida Highway Patrol (FHP) is investigating after one person was killed in a crash Friday morning. According to FHP, the crash happened at mile marker 226 in St. Cloud just after 10:30 a.m. "The crash involves a semi-truck and a tow truck that was towing a vehicle," FHP said in an email to FOX 35 News. One person has been confirmed dead. FHP said no one else was injured. Orlando Tow Truck Driver Killed in Florida Turnpike Crash OSCEOLA COUNTY, Fla. — An Orlando tow truck driver was killed early Friday in a crash involving a semitrailer that closed southbound lanes of Florida’s Turnpike for hours. The name of the 48-year-old victim was not immediately released. Both vehicles were heading south before the crash at 10:30 a.m. at Mike Marker 226. The tow-truck driver was hauling a vehicle in the left lane when his vehicle traveled into the right lane, hitting the left side of a trailer hauled by the semi, according to the Florida Highway Patrol. The tow-truck driver traveled back to the left lane, then left the roadway and struck a tree, FHP said. The other driver, German Salgado, 56, of St. Cloud, was not hurt. His 2005 semitrailer was hauling two trailers. The crash remains under investigation. RESOURCE LINK
  14. The City of London is inviting local residents to share their thoughts on a proposed bylaw being put forward by city staff that aims to create new rules for tow truck drivers. If approved, the bylaw would license tow truck drivers and prohibit them from parking, standing or stopping within 200 metres of any crash in London. Only tow trucks authorized by London police and requested by those involved in the crash would be allowed on-scene. The proposed bylaw is far from a new idea, as Brampton, Hamilton and Mississauga are among the more than a dozen other cities that have adopted similar regulations. For the past year, Ward 2 Coun. Shawn Lewis has led the push for tighter tow truck regulations. Lewis’ efforts were inspired by his own experience with “chaser” towing services after he was involved in a collision on Dec. 8, 2018. The city councillor recounted the experience in a letter sent to the community and protective services committee in January. “High-pressure tactics are used to try to secure business before the city-contracted services arrive on scene,” Lewis wrote. “The rates these operators charge is unregulated, leaving a Londoner who has just had the unfortunate, often traumatic experience of a car accident vulnerable to predatory business practices.” This prompted Lewis to put forth a motion to seek tighter regulations on tow truck drivers. Lewis’ motion picked up steam, and by September, it had garnered an endorsement from the community and protective services committee. Nearly a year after the idea was first brought to city hall, the community and protective services committee is seeking feedback and the rules being put forward. The committee will be hosting a public participation meeting at city hall on Tuesday. The meeting will take place in council chambers and start no earlier than 4:20 p.m.
  15. City tow truck fatally struck 70-year-old man in O'Hare Airport parking lot CHICAGO -- A 70-year-old man died after he was struck Tuesday by a city-owned tow truck in a parking lot at O'Hare International Airport. The man was was hit by a city tow truck driven by a 26-year-old man about 8:45 a.m. in parking lot D at Terminal 5, according to Chicago fire and police spokespeople. Police said the man was not in a crosswalk or designated walking area. He was taken to Lutheran General Hospital in Park Ridge and pronounced dead. The Cook County medical examiner's office has not released details about the fatality. CPD's major accident unit is investigating. RESOURCE LINK
  16. Woman Trapped After Crash Into Tow Truck 11.24.2019 | 10:35 PM | LOS ANGELES - A woman had to be cut free from her vehicle after crashing into a tow truck, Sunday night. Authorities responded to reports of a traffic collision with a person trapped near the intersection of Western and 82nd in the Manchester Square area around 10:35 PM. Units arriving on scene located a red Chevrolet coupe that had crashed into a flatbed tow truck. The male tow truck driver was injured and the female driver of the Chevrolet was trapped in her vehicle. Firefighters used the jaws of life and other power tools to free the trapped woman within 15 minutes. Both victims were transported to area hospitals in unknown condition. The cause of the crash is under investigation. RESOURCE LINK with video
  17. Two South Bend men arrested for holding man at gunpoint, possession of meth SOUTH BEND — Two South Bend men are facing felony charges following an argument with a tow truck operator that police say resulted in one man pulling out a gun and threatening the operator’s life. Timothy Vivian, 50, is charged with intimidation involving a deadly weapon — a Level 5 felony — and pointing a firearm at another — a Level 6 felony. Michael Querry, 48, has been charged with a Level 6 felony in connection to the incident for possession of methamphetamine. On Thursday, South Bend police were dispatched to the 700 block of Blaine Avenue after receiving a call for help from a tow truck driver. According to charging documents, the driver claimed he was confronted by two men as he was attempting to tow a jeep. The men demanded he stop what he was doing and one of them, Vivian, took out a handgun, pointed it at the driver’s chest and told him he’d kill him if the driver didn’t unhook the jeep. The driver did so and called the police once he was away from the scene. When police arrived on the scene, the documents say, they found Vivian and Querry in the backyard of the home, attempting to remove towing dollies from the jeep’s tires. Police attempted to detain both men. Vivian complied, but Querry walked away. Police said they eventually detained Querry and found more than 70 grams of methamphetamine on the ground in bags near him. Both men have entered preliminary not guilty pleas. RESOURCE LINK
  18. Resource McKeel Video YouTube Page Towing for Toys is a 501c3 organization in Murray, Kentucky, created by Max's 641 Towing & Service. Towing for Toys raises funds for, and collects, toys which provide a wonderful Christmas for children through the Murray Tiger Christmas and Calloway County Laker Christmas programs. For more information, visit towingfortoys.com.
  19. The Accident occurred on interstate 5 near Lerdo Hwy. Barkersfield, CA. Saturday 11/23/19 shortly before 8:30pm. as reported by CHP Traffic "A loaded tow-truck collided with a sedan". No Further Details
  20. Montgomery County looks to finalize new tow policy following January workshop After eight years of discussions, Montgomery County officials and towing companies will come together one more time to finalize a tow policy to do away with the antiquated chip system and move to a rotation list. Commissioners will meet at 6 p.m. Jan. 9 for a workshop. House Bill 2213, authored and passed in 2015 by state Rep. Will Metcalf, R-Conroe enables the Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office to create tow-rotation lists for unincorporated areas of the county, instead of using the existing chipping system that promotes numerous tow-truck drivers hastily trying to get to scenes in order to get their chip in the bag. The court last addressed the draft tow policy in 2017 but ultimately tabled the issue. The action to schedule the workshop came after a dozen tow truck drivers spoke to commissioners Tuesday about concern over the policy that was on the court’s agenda for discussion and action. Several speakers told the court the large number of trucks on accident scenes is not the fault of the tow industry but rather an issue with law enforcement. “I hate to point this finger but the solution to the problem is to have Montgomery County Sheriff deputies work their own scenes,” Clinton Bass with Bass Towing and Recovery. “Right now, we are sitting on scenes for 45 minutes to an hour with a deputy on scene waiting for (the Department of Public Safety) to get there. “The problem is not the tow trucks; the problem is the Montgomery County Sheriff’s Department.” Sheriff Rand Henderson said that criticism is not accurate. “I strongly disagree with that statement,” Henderson told The Courier Friday. According to the Federal Highway Administration, jurisdiction of law enforcement agencies varies widely from state to state and even within a state. Typically, state police and highway patrols have jurisdiction on state highways and county and municipal police have jurisdiction off the state highway system. In fact, in October, there were 586 accidents in the unincorporated area of Montgomery County. Of those, sheriff’s office personnel investigated 206 or 35.2 percent, according to data from MCSO. The data also noted MCSO is the primary 911 agency for the county and deputies are responsible for responding to every 911 call. In October, deputies responded to a total of 34,025 calls and incidents. Other drivers questioned some sections of the policy. Russell Schoonover with Texan Towing and Recovery said the requirement to respond to a scene within 15 minutes of being called was unrealistic and could result in a penalty if a driver can’t make it to a scene with in that time allotment. “Fifteen minutes is not very long to make a rotation,” Schoonover said adding he was unaware of any other city or county with a similar time frame. “We have officers that can’t respond to calls in fifteen minutes and you expect a wrecker to make it there in 15 minutes?” Charles Miller with Miller Towing and Recovery told commissioners the tow truck definitions were too vague and should be more specific for safety. “We need to not just look at the chassis of the truck, we need to look at the bed on the truck as well,” he said. Miller also noted the policy should allow for tow trucks to be added as business fluctuates throughout the year. Lastly, several drivers told commissioners the requirement for drivers to own storage lot would be a financial burden for smaller companies. Henderson, who has been working to craft the policy, said he doesn’t want to hurt anyone’s business. “In order for us to move forward with the modernization of the sheriff’s office, this is something we need,” he said. “We believe this is the best system for Montgomery County. By no means is it perfect; we know there will be issues.” Precinct 1 Commissioner Mike Meador agrees. “It has been in the works a long time and there is no perfect way to do it,” he said. Precinct 3 Commissioner James Noack said his concern was avoiding so many trucks on scene and drivers rushing to get to scenes. “The goal is getting wreckers to scenes effectively and efficiently to tow vehicles,” he said adding he also didn’t want drivers to be penalized if they can’t meet the time requirement to get to a scene with the rotation scenario. “I don’t want to fine anybody and I don’t want to put anyone on a do not call list.” RESOURCE LINK
  21. Landstar, Prime among fleets telling owner-operators they’ll need to leave Calif. to continue as contractors Prime, Inc. and Landstar System, two of the largest contractors of owner-operators in the country, have told their California-based owner-operators they can no longer contract with them unless they move out of state. The fleets are overhauling their California operations to manage the requirements of the state’s Assembly Bill 5 — a restrictive legislative package that effectively makes it illegal for fleets to contract with owner-operators under their authority. Swift and Knight, part of the Swift-Knight conglomerate, reportedly cut ties with its California owner-operators earlier this year, offering those truckers the option to leave the state or sell their equipment to the fleets and become company drivers. Prime which contracts with nearly 6,000 owner-operators, is offering its California-based owner-operators the option to leave California or transition to company driver if they wish to continue operating with the fleet after the state’s sweeping new labor law takes effect Jan. 1. The fleet, No. 13 in the CCJ Top 250, said it will provide owner-operators with relocation packages if they wish to move and remain owner-operators. A Prime spokesperson did not elaborate on how many operators would be affected. Landstar, No. 8 in the CCJ Top 250 and the country’s largest owner-operator fleet, confirmed to CCJ last week that it is calling its California-based owner-operators to discuss options, too, but the fleet would not elaborate on available options. Landstar owner-operators familiar with the calls have said the choice is simple: Leave California or “they’re done at Landstar,” said one of the company’s owner-operators, who wished to speak anonymously. Landstar declined to comment on that interpretation or whether drivers would be offered relocation packages. Owner-operator Ivan Mikhov, based in Sacramento, is one such operator facing A.B. 5’s existential threat. He has four brothers also leased as individual one-truck businesses to the company, and all have been told that, in order keep their contracts into the new year, when the new contractor law goes into effect, they must either commit to only hauling loads that originate outside the state, or else relocate to another state and update their CDL from their current California licensing. “We’re trying to decide” exactly what to do, Mikhov says. “We’ll probably move.” RESOURCE LINK OOIDA challenges AB5, New Jersey bills Absent any answers from California and New Jersey lawmakers on the reach and impact of their worker classification legislation, OOIDA is challenging California’s Assembly Bill 5 as well as two New Jersey bills. New Jersey lawmakers have introduced similar legislation – S4204 and A5936. OOIDA sent a letter to New Jersey leaders, saying the Association is opposed to the “overly broad legislation.” OOIDA is opposed to any legislation that will negatively impact legitimate owner-operators. The Association said both states have been unable to confirm that the legislation will protect legitimate small-business truckers leased on to a motor carrier. “We have attempted to get answers, any answers from officials in California regarding their vision and enforcement on AB5. And New Jersey lawmakers are in the same boat. No one has any answers,” OOIDA President and CEO Todd Spencer said. “Absent any sort of direction or credible information, California should not allow AB5 to go into effect in January and New Jersey lawmakers need to rethink their bills.” RESOURCE LINK and the rest of the story.
  22. A rapid series of car crashes along the Gulf Freeway in Southeast Houston left one man dead and another man in critical condition Saturday morning, police said. It started around 1:45 a.m with a hit and run crash on the Gulf Freeway, near the Cullen exit. The car that was hit stayed on the highway and was involved in a second accident. Soon after, a tow truck arrived to remove the vehicles from the freeway. Then, a third car speeding down the roadway slammed into the back of the tow truck and swerved into another lane, hitting the two drivers who had been standing outside their vehicles exchanging information, police said. The car hit the men so hard they flew into the HOV lane. One man died at the scene and another man was taken to a nearby hospital in critical condition, according to officials. Following the accident, officials closed the southbound lanes near the Cullen exit. They reopened around 6 a.m. Houston Police said they will conduct an investigation to determine if intoxication was a factor in the crash. If so, the driver could face intoxication manslaughter charges. "That vehicle did stop, however that person, we’re taking him to JPC on suspicion of DWI,” said Sgt. David Rose with the Houston Police Department No Further Details are available at this time. RESOURCE LINK with video 1 RESOURCE LINK with video 2 Man accused in deadly DWI crash on Gulf Fwy gets $100 bond RESOURCE LINK with video HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- A man accused of driving while intoxicated has been charged in connection with a deadly crash on the Gulf Freeway. Lupe Longoria, 27, was arrested following the early Saturday morning crash. Houston police say two drivers were on the Gulf Freeway exchanging information after a fender bender. Police say Longoria was reportedly speeding when he lost control and slammed his vehicle into the two men who were talking to a wrecker driver, sending one of them flying into the HOV lane. Police say one of the men died at the scene and the other one was transported to Memorial Hermann Hospital in critical condition, where he was later pronounced dead. According to court documents, Longoria received a $100 bond.
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