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  1. TowNews

    John Klein Sr. - 1944 - 2018

    On December 11, 2018 John J. Klein, Sr., of Ellicott City, beloved husband of Carolyn (Boswell) Klein, dear father of Kimberly S. Weiss and her husband Bradley and John J. Klein, Jr. and his wife Sylke, dear grandfather of Kelly S. Weiss, Katherine M. Weiss, John J. Klein, III and Julie M. Klein, brother of Arminta Bloom and her husband Gene, Charles A. Klein, Jr. and wife Jackie, Pat Marsiglia , Mark Klein and his wife Sue, the late Edward Klein and the late William Klein. John was a life member of the Ellicott City Volunteer Fire Department, joining the department in 1959. John served 22 years as the Chief of the department. John was an avid golfer. John's family owned West End Service, Inc. a fixture on the West End of Main Street in Ellicott City since 1928. Friends may call on Friday December 14, 2018 from 2-4 and 6-8 pm a fire department memorial service will be held at 7 pm at Church of The Resurrection Chapel (Shehan Center), 3175 Paulskirk Drive, Ellicott City, Md 21042. A Mass of Christian Burial will be held on Saturday December 15, 2018 at 10 am in the Sanctuary of Church of the Resurrection at the above address. In lieu of flowers donations in Mr. Klein's name may be directed to the Lighthouse Senior Living, 3100 N. Ridge Ridge Road, Ellicott City, MD 21043 Memo Line: Holiday Fund. Source: West End Service, Inc. FB Page
  2. From a media release: Discovery’s smash hit original Canadian series HEAVY RESCUE: 401 returns with 14 new episodes this winter, chronicling dramatic recoveries along Ontario’s 400-series highways – extending from Windsor in the west to the Québec border in the east. A Top 5 series on Discovery last season, Season 3 of HEAVY RESCUE: 401 airs Tuesdays at 10 p.m. ET / 7 p.m. PT beginning Tuesday, Jan. 8 on Discovery. From the makers of Discovery’s fan-favourite series HIGHWAY THRU HELL, HEAVY RESCUE: 401 tells the dramatic stories of heavy recovery tow truck drivers who continue the good fight across one of North America’s busiest and most unforgiving series of highways. The stakes are high, every minute counts, and every job is vital…because closure is not an option. An advanced vehicle safety technology leader, Toyota returns as proud sponsor of the third season of HEAVY RESCUE: 401. About Season 3 of HEAVY RESCUE: 401: The new season of HEAVY RESCUE: 401 prom ises to surprise audiences with nail-biting drama, chronicling familiar characters stepping up to bigger responsibilities, incredible stories of wintery wrecks, and dangerous challenges with new trucks. Storms and freak accidents attack the 401, pushing first responders, heavy rescue crews, and maintenance teams to their limits. After making a big move to the competition, Sonny Subra faces another major decision about his direction in heavy rescue – and new pressure when he gets the opportunity of his career. In the snowbelt north of the city, Bubba Semple gets an opportunity of his own at Classic Towing – but it’s one that will challenge him at every turn. At Preferred Towing in Sarnia, Ont., Gary Vandenheuvel’s crew faces a whiteout blitz lasting for days. However, his biggest challenge comes when his son Collin is faced with a dangerous close call. Down in Windsor, Ont., Eric Goddard of Coxon’s Towing works to train a new generation of heavy operators. And when a raging river destroys a bridge and strands a dump truck, it forces Ross’ Towing to embark on a bigger recovery than anything they’ve ever attempted. At the eastern end of the province, Scrappy Algonquin Towing enlists 50-year-old hardware in the fight against a frozen pileup, Herb’s Towing works to rebuild after a huge shakeup in the crew, and David Davidson at Unique Towing fights a lonely battle that will ultimately end his career on the road. HEAVY RESCUE: 401 continues to work closely with the Ontario Provincial Police and Sgt. Kerry Schmidt to execute on-the-spot accident reconstructions, manage pileups, and oversee toxic spills. Once again this season, the series follows the crew at the Ontario Ministry of Transportation’s massive control centre to get a bird’s-eye view of the intricate and high-stakes highway system. Subscribers can access live streaming of HEAVY RESCUE: 401 through the Discovery app, and stream Season 1 and 2 on demand on the Discovery app and Discovery.ca. HEAVY RESCUE: 401 is produced by Thunderbird Entertainment Group Inc. in association with Discovery Canada. Executive Producer is Mark Miller. Series producer is Todd Serotiuk.
  3. Jeremiah Little of Aces Towing & Repair in Vermont was struck yesterday. The companies FB page states: "Jeremiah is OK and has no serious injuries! Today he has a very sore body, swollen & bruised foot, ankle and leg but we are grateful that's all he suffered. To Lyndon Rescue, LFD and LPD we Thank You!!" Jeremiah stated: "I got out of the truck and was standing against it and waiting to cross...i was right on the white line....coast looked clear after a truck....black car tucked in behind and I took one step. Ran over foot and ankle...up onto hood and then flying through the air...." Jeremiah also stated the driver that struck him stopped: "He stopped. Nice guy blinded by lights from fire truck n ambulance" News Story Link Available Requires Subscription to read article. Found an Article: A tow truck driver was hit by a car at the scene of a motor-vehicle crash in Lyndonville Thursday. Jeremiah Little, owner of Ace’s Towing on Hill Street, said he had just started to cross Broad Street to talk to a customer near the Miss Lyndonville Diner when a car he didn’t see coming drove over his foot and knocked him to the ground about ten feet away. But he wasn’t seriously injured. “My ankle’s still a little bit swollen but my toes move and my ankle moves so that’s a good thing,” said Little Thursday evening. “I looked to make sure the coast was clear and I didn’t see anything and I guess he was blinded by the lights on the ambulance a little bit. “ Little said he had been across town preparing the parking lot at the former Kennametal Plant on Main Street for the upcoming “Light Up The Night Holiday Parade” his company hosts each year when he was called to the multi-vehicle crash. Little was evaluated on scene by Lyndon Rescue and declined transport. Then he went back to work at the Kennametal plant getting ready for the parade. “No rest for the wicked,” said Little. “I got right back out there…” Lyndonville Police say the incident occurred at 5:33 p.m. at 686 Broad Street at the scene of a three vehicle crash and that the car was a 2012 Ford Fusion operated by Justin Freeto, 42, of Lyndonville. “It was reported Little stepped out onto the roadway as Justin Freeto was traveling south on Broad Street, resulting in his vehicle striking Little,” wrote Lyndonville Police Ofc. Brandon Thrailkill in a press release issued Thursday night. “Freeto reported he did not see Little and the lights from the ambulance on scene obstructed his vision. Little also reported he did not see Freeto traveling on Broad Street.” “I Just relaxed and went with the flow,” Little said. RESOURCE LINK
  4. SPLENDORA, Texas (KTRK) -- Christmas came early to a family in Splendora all thanks to more than 30 wrecker companies who spread some holiday cheer. The tow truck drivers gifted 3-month-old Cody and his siblings, 3-year-old Brantly and 4-year-old Landyn, the ultimate holiday present. Cody is scheduled for open heart surgery this week and with medical expenses putting a strain on the family, the drivers took it upon themselves to throw him a party at the YMCA near Patton Village. Cody and his brothers loved the Christmas tree and were quick to unwrap their presents. RESOURCE LINK with video
  5. COLLEGE STATION, Tex. (KBTX)- A local towing company is under fire for what customers are calling unethical and illegal business practices, but the owners of the wrecker service say the complaints are nothing more than a smear campaign. Several Northgate business owners and patrons have contacted KBTX in recent months to say their vehicles have been hauled from the Coyote Lot even after they've paid for parking. The lot is located at Church and First Street and charges $5.00 for parking. Coyote Lot is owned by the same people who own the Dixie Chicken, and parking there is enforced by Roadrunners Towing & Recovery. Customers must drop cash into a money box that's monitored by several cameras and spotters who watch from a distance. The system is a flawed one, according to those who shared their experiences with News 3's Rusty Surette. Jessica De La Cruz, the owner of 4.0 Cuts, says her car has been towed twice. It was once returned after Roadrunners realized it made a mistake. "They said they were sorry, and they made a mistake because their cameras were glitching at the time," said De La Cruz. Tom Chavers and Sandra Portzer, the owners of Roadrunners, confirmed this on Sunday in a telephone conversation with KBTX and agreed to share their side of the story in an on-camera interview on Monday. They later declined the interview, saying our story was one-sided, biased, and said their attorney advised them not to speak with us due to pending litigation involving one or more of its customers. De La Cruz worries about the impact the tows are having on her business. "They're also towing my staff and my customers," she said. Other nearby business owners and managers echo her concerns. Tristan Dudely manages a bar in Northgate and claims, not only was he towed after paying the fee, but the tow truck driver damaged the underside of his vehicle. "I've had three different mechanics tell me this kind of damage happens when the car is dropped," said Dudley. An average tow from Coyote Lot can cost $300. Dudley says in the end, the tow and repairs will cost him nearly 8 times that amount. In a statement to KBTX, the owners of the Coyote Lot called the payment system "simple and effective" but it's one of -- if not the last -- parking lot in Northgate to use a money drop box. Others use electronic machines that accept debit and credit cards. Several of the people KBTX spoke with for this story say they have filed, or plan to file a complaint with the Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation -- the state agency that regulates and monitors towing services. In 2016, Roadrunners was issued a penalty and fine of $1,450 by TDLR for violations unrelated to its towing practices. The company's profile on the Better Business Bureau website shows 4 complaints have been filed against the towing company, but maintains an A- rating. RESOURCE LINK with video and other info
  6. Sergeant hit by car is ID’ed as cop who was honored for saving driver from burning car Officials on Wednesday identified the veteran Mount Arlington police sergeant who remained hospitalized after he was hit by a car while on-duty. Sgt. James DiStasio was investigating “an unrelated traffic incident,” when he was struck around 6:50 p.m. Tuesday on Howard Boulevard, near a gas station and Route 80, according to statement from the Morris County Prosecutor’s Office. Responders rushed DiStasio to Morristown Medical Center, the prosecutor’s office said. Officials would not confirm his condition. “Officer DiStasio is a valued member of our Department and our Borough family. Please keep James in your thoughts and prayers at this time,” Mayor Michael Stanzilis said. Witnesses told News12 the sergeant was directing traffic as a vehicle was being taken away on a tow truck when he was hit. News of the incident prompted an outpouring of support from residents, fellow officers and others, who posted their well wishers on social media. The New Jersey Fraternal Order of Police, the union that represents borough officers, said in a Facebook post that the sergeant was “severely injured” while investigating a traffic accident. RESOURCE LINK MOUNT ARLINGTON - A police officer from Mount Arlington was struck by a truck Tuesday night while directing traffic after responding to another crash. Friends say the officer's name is James Distasio, a sergeant with the department who is well-known and well-loved. News 12 is told Sgt. Distasio responded to the crash Tuesday night around 7 p.m. According to witnesses, Distasio got out of his cruiser to direct traffic as the car was getting loaded onto a tow truck. That is when he was hit by another driver. Dave Ferrara, owner of Davy's Hot Dogs, says he was just closing his restaurant when the tow truck driver came running in and told him Distasio was hit and on the ground. "Everybody in town knows him,” says Ferrara. “It's a small little borough. Everybody is friendly. Like I said it's shocking. The tow truck guys had tears in their eyes last night. I had tears I my eyes and we're just hoping." Sgt. Distasio was recognized by the 200 club of Morris County for saving a man from a burning car. There is no word yet on his condition. http://newjersey.news12.com/story/39628610/mount-arlington-police-officer-struck-by-truck-while-responding-to-crash
  7. ROWAN COUNTY, NC (WBTV) - A suspect was arrested after a man reported that he was threatened with a handgun while sitting in his tow truck at a gas station in Rowan County. An officer says as he arrived at the Love’s Travel Stop in the 1100 block of Peeler Road Tuesday when the suspect, later identified as Matthew Austin Lockamy, was being searched for a weapon, a report from Rowan County Sheriff’s Office stated. A firearm was located in the left coat pocket that Lockamy was wearing at the time. The firearm was later identified as a plastic and metal .177 caliber Daisy BB gun. He was detained and placed in a patrol vehicle while officers conducted an investigation, according to the report. The gun was loaded with several rounds of .177 caliber ammunition and was in operating condition. Officers spoke with the victim who says he was sitting in his ABC towing flatbed truck when the suspect shoved the passenger door after circling the vehicle, the report stated. The victim says he rolled down the window to figure out what was going on and suddenly Lockamy leaned into the vehicle and brandished the firearm as he pointed it to the suspect’s face. The report stated the suspect told the victim “you are going to give me a [expletive] ride.” The victim says he then called 911. Officers arrested Lockamy after speaking with the victim. He was transported to the Rowan County Magistrate’s Office. RESOURCE LINK
  8. A 23-year-old Cadillac woman was killed in a crash with a tow truck over the weekend. GREEN TOWNSHIP, Mich. - A 23-year-old Cadillac woman was killed over the weekend in a crash with a tow truck. According to Michigan State Police, the incident happened around 2:30 p.m. on Sunday, Dec. 9 on southbound US-131 near 22 Mile Road. A tow truck driven by a 22-year-old Paris man was going south on US-131 and turning left in the median turn around when a car also going south rear ended the truck, MSP says. The car was driven by 23-year-old Desiree Farve, from Onsted and formerly from Cadillac. Farve's 14-month-old toddlers was also in the vehicle and strapped into a car seat in the back. Farve's child was not hurt in the crash, but Farve died at the scene. US-131 was closed for about three and a half hours while traffic was rerouted. MSP is still investigating the crash. RESOURCE LINK
  9. Out on Las Vegas Street near the El Paso County jail, razor wire surrounds another secure facility. But no inmates are held here. Rather, hundreds of vehicles swept off Colorado Springs’ streets for a variety of reasons fill 18.5 acres of land. Many sit idle for months, even years, until released from evidence, or sold at auction because nobody claims them. The impound lot, run by the Colorado Springs Police Department, is also a money drain: The department lacks equipment to move vehicles within the lot, resulting in exorbitant towing bills. That, and other problems, are now receiving CSPD’s attention after the City Auditor’s Office delivered a scathing report in May critical of the towing issue, management oversight, crowding, contracting practices, ineffective communications with citizens trying to claim their towed cars, and deterioration of vehicles held as evidence. “The evidentiary value of these vehicles stored for very long periods seemed questionable,” auditors wrote, noting most had body damage, weren’t protected from weather and showed signs of interior and exterior degradation. A total of 259 vehicles had been on evidence hold for more than 36 months. Managing them obviously proves quite a challenge, but CSPD tells the Indy it’s tackling all of the auditor’s recommendations. Below, we examine more audit takeaways, hear how CSPD intends to find solutions, and illustrate what’s needed to bail out a vehicle, or get a sweet deal on one at auction. Space available Auditors report that 5,095 vehicles wound up in the impound lot at 2725 E. Las Vegas St. during the 2017 audit period. Most, 64 percent, were released back to their owners. Vehicles land in impound for various reasons: Their drivers are arrested, vehicles are illegally parked, they pose a traffic hazard, are left behind from hit-and-run crashes, or they’re simply abandoned. Crowding at the lot became such a problem last year that police issued six “curtailment orders,” which meant the lot refused to accept additional vehicles. Police spokesperson Lt. Howard Black says the curtailments typically lasted a week in the run-up to an auction when the lot reached capacity. But he notes that curtailments applied only to abandoned vehicles that didn’t create an immediate hazard, meaning other more urgent impoundments were allowed. When a curtailment ended, community service officers would see to it that abandoned vehicles were then lined up for tows to the lot. Auditors found, however, that the 1,105-vehicle capacity lot held only 961 vehicles during that time, meaning it was 87 percent full, suggesting the lot could better manage its available space. One reason for crowding appears to stem from misunderstandings over requirements to claim a vehicle. Auditors found only 16 percent — one in six — of those who tried to retrieve their cars succeeded on a first attempt. “Each visit by an owner resulted in Impound Technicians’ time being spent and in most cases, this time did not result in the car being released,” the report says. The chief problem was owners weren’t prepared with the required documents, but, as auditors noted, “The root cause of this issue was not readily apparent.” Reclaim your ride To reclaim a vehicle, you’ll need proof of insurance, a driver’s license and registration that matches the license plates, which must be current and in the name of the owner. To tow a vehicle out, you’ll need registration or title and a valid ID, and the tow truck has to be registered with the Colorado Public Utilities Commission and arrive at the impound lot by 4 p.m. weekdays, according to the impound website. Have money ready. If your vehicle languished for a month, you’d owe $600 for storage ($30 per day; no charge for weekends and holidays), a $46.75 impound fee and $75 for towing, totaling $721.75. Some cars may not be worth that, so people don’t bother. Which means those vehicles are bound for auction if they’re not claimed within 30 days after police attempt to reach owners via phone and registered mail. But auditors found cars sold for scrap, comprising 62 percent of auction cars, averaged 59 days on the lot, while public-auction cars sat for an average of 106 days. An idea to speed things up, auditors wrote: “If the intent was to scrap non-title cars, the paperwork should not need to be sufficient for the buyer to obtain a clear title.” In other words, staff time is wasted. Auditors also noted the department pays overtime for title auctions, held with regularity throughout the year. Unknown wheels, good deals Auction prep requires the city to pay tow fees to private companies to move vehicles from the intake part of the lot to the auction side, which cost the city $65,000 in 2017 alone, because the city didn’t have its own towing equipment, auditors noted. That problem also was at play in incurring tow fees to and from the lot and to shuffle cars when necessary to make more room. All together, tow charges exceeded $1 million in two years, according to records obtained by the Indy. Those auctions, usually held twice a month, got rid of 3,882 vehicles, and brought in $828,000 in 2017 and $756,000 in 2018 through November, records show. The city also collected tow and storage fees from people retrieving their vehicles. That came to $830,600 in 2017 and $594,296 through November this year. Generally, all tow fees are recovered, unless waived by the court or due to an owner being a crime victim. For bargain hunters, auctions can be a source of fantastic deals. One example: A 2017 Dodge Journey SUV sold in September for $4,800. Though many vehicles are severely damaged, don’t run or don’t have keys. Administrative blunders included failure to renew or rebid the auction contract after it expired in 2017 (a new contract is now in place) and a discrepancy of $51,350 between two different revenue-reporting systems, likely due, auditors surmised, to data entry errors. The impound process was further complicated by using a “Car Card” filled out by officers that contained 32 fields, proving a drain on impound workers’ time. CSPD’s solutions After setting and then canceling two interviews, CSPD issued written responses to our questions, saying cited problems are being addressed. The city’s IT department is working on a system to prevent revenue discrepancies. Police have redesigned Car Cards to include a customer copy. There are new brochures explaining procedures, and the department has lessened requirements for ownership documentation. By purchasing a front-end loader to move vehicles within the lot, the city will avoid tow fees and up efficiency. Other steps include online auctions starting in January, and working with the Department of Motor Vehicles to establish a minimum level of paperwork required for car titles. As well, CSPD intends to reorganize the lot to eliminate multiple moves and to “increase evidentiary integrity.” Also, police adopted a new policy that allows short-term investigative holds that officials say will avoid long-term holds. Two CSPD employees worked part-time for six months to research hold vehicles, resulting in 180 vehicles being released this year. But the space problem lingers. The CSPD estimates buying land and installing security measures would cost more than $1 million. Thus, Black explains, “We are pursuing other more cost-effective measures first, such as the front-end loader and online auctions for more efficient and timely vehicle movements.” Claims to fame Controversy isn’t uncommon in the impound world, according to media reports. In 2013, an audit of the Cincinnati city lot found shoddy record-keeping failed to properly track money and vehicles, and in Kansas City the next year a lot made headlines by demanding a couple whose vehicle had been stolen pay the $230 tow bill. The Springs lot hasn’t been immune to similar issues, but at least it hasn’t impounded a vehicle with a dead body inside and failed to discover it for nearly two months, as happened earlier this year in Memphis. Still, CSPD’s lot has drawn some attention. A car stolen in Pueblo in June 2017 was located in Colorado Springs a month later. The owner called weekly to find out when she could claim her car. She never heard back, but soon found it on the September 2017 auction list, KOAA News 5 reported at the time. She was ultimately able to claim her car before it was sold. Then, there was the Uber driver who picked up Karrar Noaman Al Khammasi on Aug. 2 shortly before Khammasi allegedly shot Springs Police Officer Cem Duzel. In September, the driver petitioned to get her car, and livelihood, back, according to a Gazette report. A judge ordered the car released, and the driver told the newspaper she was happy about that, but unhappy her car had been corralled in the uncovered lot during a damaging hail storm. She didn’t file a claim against the city, but seven others have in the last year, alleging grievances such as damage to vehicles and, in two cases, a vehicle being sold without the owner being notified. The city dismissed all but one claim and paid no damages as a result. The validated claim came from a woman stuck with a needle inside a van she bought at auction. She later withdrew the claim after police explained that all vehicles are searched for hazards, valuables, personally identifying and illegal items prior to sale but that it’s impossible to ensure everything is found. That’s why all vehicles are purchased “as is, buyer beware,” the CSPD says. RESOURCE LINK
  10. MANDAN, N.D. — A man allegedly stole a tow truck in Mandan on Monday then drove it into a slough as he was trying to flee from police. According to the North Dakota Highway Patrol, Mandan police received a report of a stolen tow truck around 12:45 p.m. Dec. 10. A trooper saw the truck on Interstate 94 near the Bismarck a short time later and tried to stop the vehicle. The driver didn't stop; instead he fled east and eventually turned off exit 176, near McKenzie and headed south. In a further attempt to elude officers, the suspect drove the tow truck off the road into a field. Officers initially lost sight of the vehicle but found it a short time later in a large slough southwest of McKenzie. A Highway Patrol airplane along with a Burleigh County Sheriff's Office drone were brought to the area and the suspect was found and watched as officers closed in on his location. He was arrested without incident. The Highway Patrol did not identify the man, but said he faces possible charges of unauthorized use of a motor vehicle, fleeing, reckless driving and driving under suspension. RESOURCE LINK
  11. PHOENIX — Talk about a ruff commute. A group of dogs snarled rush hour traffic Monday morning in Phoenix. A quick-acting officer and a tow truck driver guided the dogs to the side of busy Interstate 17. "It was just the most bizarre mix of big, small, short, fat, skinny" dogs, witness Christin Calkin told KNXV-TV. Arizona Department of Transportation video shows drivers slowing down to avoid the pack of pooches. "My heart was racing," Calkin said. Witnesses attempted to wrangle the dogs. At one point, witnesses used a large German shepherd, who apparently was in heat, as bait to collect the dogs. "We would collect them and put them in the truck except for that one cause they kind of all gravitated towards that one," Calkin said. Four of the six dogs were taken by animal control officials. Two dogs escaped. RESOURCE LINK with video
  12. The entry point to the Technic range for 2019, 42088 is aimed at builders aged just 7+, with 155 pieces and a sub-£10 price tag. As has become the norm for Technic sets even at this scale, 42088 features a bit more visual detail than the range has historically used, but pleasingly it still features a lovely crane boom mechanism that utilises a worm gear to provide elevation. A tow truck B-model deploys the parts to achieve the same function and we think either build is a fine way to kick-off Technic for a younger builder. 42091 and 42090 are the usual two pull-back motor powered sets that join the Technic range each year. Like past years they feature absolutely nothing beyond their pull-back motorisation and, like past years, they are somewhat aesthetically challenged, despite the inclusion of a wealth of colourful stickers. Each set contains around 120 pieces and the two models can be combined to create something even more hideous should you feel the need to. 42091 and 42090 will sell very well we suspect, but if you’re going to buy a child an entry point into Technic, you could do so much better… https://thelegocarblog.com/2018/12/09/lego-technic-2019-set-previews/
  13. From B&B Industries: It is with a very heavy heart that I write these words tonight. Unfortunately, B&B Industries has lost it's beloved founder and owner Bill Bottoms. Bill has passed away suddenly after suffering a massive stroke Sunday night. He will be dearly missed and never forgotten. He was a true legend in the towing industry, a creative innovator, and a great leader. The entire Bottoms family thanks all of you for your prayers and support. The arrangements for Bill are posted below. McGann Hay Granger Chapel 13260 SR 23 Granger, IN 46530 (574) 232-1411 Visitation: Sunday, 12/9/18: 2pm to 8pm Monday, 12/10/18: 11am to 2pm Services: Monday, 12/10/18: 2pm William “Bill” Bottoms, 77, passed away at his home with his family by his side, Friday at12:15am from a stroke he suffered earlier in the week. He was born Aug. 18, 1941 to the late Calhoun “Hoss” and Evelyn (Cunningham) Bottoms in McMinnville, TN. Bill married Judith Ann Matson in 1965, she survives. He was blessed with four children who also survive him, including three sons: Randy (Rosa) Yarbrough of Barstow, CA, Bill (Shelley) Wassom of Johns Creek, GA, Kenny (Laurie) Peek of Nashville, TN, and daughter; Maria “Lisa” (Lee) Hirschfield of Cedar Lake, IN. There are also six grandchildren: Lindsay, David, Shelby, Morgan, Haley, Savannah and two great grandchildren: Lia and Branton, and the beloved family cat CC. Bill served in the U.S. Air Force before marrying Judi. During his younger years he raced dirt cars on the weekends and enjoyed gambling in Las Vegas. He worked as a pipe-fitter and welder on the Sears Tower and other skyscrapers in Chicago and was a builder and creator of many things. He started building tow trucks and opened B & B Industries in Chicago. In 1979, he moved his company and renamed it Challenger Wrecker Manufacturing. He sold that company, but missed the work, so he reopened B&B Industries in Elkhart, where it remains today. He is in the International Towing Museum Hall of Fame in Chattanooga, TN. As if tow trucks weren’t enough, he also designed and manufactures Port-a-Party vehicles, that could be moved anywhere you wanted to party. Such companies as Budweiser, Monster Energy Drinks, and Miller Brewing use these portable parties on wheels. Bill loved his friends and family and was always there for them. He also had many friends and and loyal employees who will truly miss him. Visitation and Services for Bill will be held on Sunday from 2-8pm and on Monday from 11-2pm at the McGann Hay Funerals / Cremations / Gatherings, Granger Chapel, 13260 SR 23 enter on Cherry Rd. The funeral celebration will be at 2pm Monday in the funeral home with Rev. John Railton, Pastor of Granger Family Bible Church, officiating. The family asks that those wishing to make memorial donations consider: St. Joesph County Humane Society. To send condolences, please visit: www.McGannHay.com http://blog.mcgannhay.com/william-p-bottoms/
  14. BIRMINGHAM, AL (WBRC) - Tow trucks led a procession from Hueytown all the way to Tuscaloosa to remind you to slow down and move over. The tow truck drivers were from all over Alabama and out of state, and came out to promote safer roadways for towers and first responders. This is the second year Tow Professional Magazine, which is located in Pelham, has held the rally. They hope rallies like these remind you if you see flashing lights on the side of the road, the law says you must move over. If you can’t, slow down. “To let the public know that these are sons, fathers, husbands that are out there helping others in their time of need. In their worst time of need. And they need to make it back safely,” said a spokesperson for Tow Professional Magazine on Facebook. Tow Professional Magazine said a tow truck driver is killed every 6 days. RESOURCE LINK with video
  15. It’s a silly law that requires a driver to move over when they see police, maintenance, tow truck and other emergency vehicles and personnel on the shoulder. Duh. No one is going to deliberately run into to someone on the side of a road. If you can move over safely, you probably will. But it’s not always safe to. With this law, I notice a hazardous trend of drivers noticing the activity too late and panicking and stopping short or trying to move over too quickly. Plus, it is already difficult to enforce because the cops who would give you a ticket for not moving over are already occupied doing whatever they’re doing on the side of the road, which is why you have to move over in the first place! Radio host Judi Franco’s stands by her commentary posted Tuesday criticizing New Jersey’s “Move Over Law” despite push back from those in public safety. The New Jersey 101.5 talk show host’s comments were triggered by attempts to make the law tougher, adding a penalty of two points to the license of violators. Franco calls it a “silly law”: Franco’s commentary also claims wrongly that New Jersey’s version of the law was created almost a decade ago following the death of New Jersey State Police Trooper Marc Castellano. Trooper Castellano was killed by a driver about a year after “Move Over” became law. The State Troopers Fraternal Association of New Jersey is among the organizations and individuals unhappy with Franco’s commentary. STFA issued a pointed three-page statement about Franco that begins with a reference to another controversial episode involving Judi Franco (read entire STFA statement here) The STFA statement refers to the suspension of Franco and co-host Dennis Malloy in late July for calling New Jersey Attorney General Gurbir Grewal “turban man”. Grewal is the first Sikh attorney general in the country. In the latest controversy, the management of New Jersey 101.5 stands by Judi Franco. New Jersey 101.5 statement: Our talk hosts at New Jersey 101.5 are chosen because they offer strong opinions and viewpoints. We understand not everyone will agree with them – they frequently disagree with one another – and that’s why we encourage our listeners to reach out on-air and online. Our goal isn’t to tell anyone what to think, but to give our hosts the space to start conversations. We’ve always enjoyed a productive relationship with New Jersey law enforcement, including the New Jersey State Police’s participation in our past and upcoming Town Hall events on online safety, through the New Jersey State PBA’s participation in our Feel Better Bears project to distribute teddy bears to children going through difficult times, and through our participation alongside law enforcement in the annual Polar Plunge in Seaside Heights. Additionally, we celebrate law enforcement efforts through our weekly #BlueFriday feature on the Bill Spadea Show.
  16. lex Morgavan hustled to the parking lot outside his family’s car repair business to look at a customer’s flat tire. When he rushed back inside, the phone rang. Again. “Thanks for calling Valparaiso Car Care and Transmission. How can I help you?” he asked. “Sure, OK, hold on a second.” Morgavan bolted from the small office into the repair shop to check on a vehicle. When he returned, he told another waiting customer, “We’re working on it.” The 22-year-old boyish man can say the same thing regarding most everything in his whirlwind life these days — his multiple job duties at the family business, his ongoing business management classes at Valparaiso University, his romantic relationship with 21-year-old girlfriend, Alyson Feczko. And, as of 11:10 a.m. Nov. 27, the birth of the couple’s daughter Nova. Morgavan’s “working on it.” All of it. Every day. “Look at that smile,” Morgavan proudly told me, showing off a photo of his baby from his cell phone. “I can’t believe I have a daughter.” Named for the classic model of a 1970 Chevy that Morgavan has been rebuilding for years, Nova was born one month premature, weighing just over four pounds. She was immediately put in the neonatal intensive care unit at Porter Regional Hospital and is currently receiving medical treatment. “She's definitely our little miracle,” Feczko said from the hospital. “We are hoping she returns home in the next two weeks.” Both parents have been staying with Nova almost ‘round the clock since her C-section birth. They arrive at the hospital early in the morning, before Morgavan has to leave for work, then classes, then back to work, then back to the hospital, then finally back home late at night. “I don’t want to miss anything with my baby daughter,” he said. His father, John Morgavan, opened the family business more than 40 years ago. The repair shop on Lincolnway has been in operation for nearly that long. “I kind of grew up with this business,” Alex Morgavan said. As a kid, he would hang out in the back office, watching TV and doing homework. As a teenager, he washed vehicles, changed tires, and ran errands. “My specialty is repairing tires, I guess,” Morgavan said. While managing the business with his father, he also drives the shop’s tow truck, handles the related junkyard, and sells used cars at the family’s property on U.S. 30. Plus, he takes care of the shop’s in-house financing, obtains missing titles for vehicles, and greets customers. Oh, and he sells fireworks from the storefront in the summer. “And he loves towing vehicles out of ditches during snowstorms,” said Neal Guidarelli, Morgavan’s friend and former coworker at the shop. “This is actually how he met Alyson.” It was a wintry day when Morgavan was using his trusty tow truck to pull vehicles up an icy hill in rural Valparaiso. One was being operated by Feczko, who agreed to Morgavan’s complimentary assistance. She didn’t end up tipping him, but she contacted him on social media a month later. “It truly was a blessing in disguise getting my car stuck that night,” Feczko said. “We plan to get married very soon,” Morgavan added. Last week, they went out for dinner and overheard other college students their age bragging about “drinking and blacking out every weekend.” Morgavan laughed at the memory. “We can’t do anything like that. We never did anyway,” he said. “Hey, we’re parents now.” Remember when you were a young parent and your life was swamped with a tough job or endless school or hot romances or crying babies. Or, like Morgavan, all of them at once? I do. We look back now wondering how we managed to pull it all off. Somehow, we did, though. “Yeah, my life is at maximum capacity,” Morgavan said. “I’m just trying to keep it together.” On the day I shadowed Morgavan, he had already attended morning classes at VU, where he’s in his fourth year, with an expected graduation date early next year. He attends classes three days a week, with another class on Wednesday nights. “I was on VU’s track team, but I couldn’t keep up with it,” he said. Morgavan and Feczko live with his parents, where a nursery was recently completed for Nova. “I had to miss Sunday church to finish it,” Morgavan said with a shrug. Feczko calls Morgavan a “natural” as a young father. “Oh my, he’s amazed me,” she said. “The smile he gets on his face when he sees our baby girl melts my heart every time. You can feel the love and happiness radiating from him. He's being the best father he can be. There's no doubt about that.” “Alex will do anything for anyone,” added Guidarelli, who drove from his Indianapolis home to personally congratulate Morgavan after Nova’s unexpected birth. Morgavan understands that he needs to find just the right balance between work, school, fatherhood, and couple-hood. “I’m trying to learn everything on the fly,” he said before leaving the shop for his next class at VU. “The important thing is, I want to be present for my baby no matter how busy I get here.” With that, he hopped into his car, a Volvo station wagon. “I know, it’s a dad car,” Morgavan said sheepishly, even though he owned it before becoming a father. “It’s kind of my style.” RESOURCE LINK
  17. KENOSHA COUNTY (CBS 58) – A Wisconsin State Patrol squad car was hit by an impaired driver Sunday evening. According to the Kenosha County Sheriff’s Office, the State Patrol squad was on scene of a different crash along with a tow truck, when both vehicles were hit. It happened around 7:15 p.m. on Interstate 41 near Bristol. Authorities say there were several people in the striking car but no one had life threatening injuries. The sheriff’s office is looking into charges for the impaired driver. RESOURCE LINK
  18. When his daughter was born, Peter Frazer borrowed his brother-in-law's video camera to capture her joyful arrival into the world. He would sometimes watch that footage and marvel at the woman Sarah was becoming - an adventurous soul who was rapidly filling her passport with stamp after stamp and had a burning passion for photography. Tragically, it was just 23 short years later that her horrific death was captured on the dashcam of a tow truck that had arrived to take away her broken-down car. "It was shown in court," Mr Frazer explained. "I am haunted by it. We asked the prosecutor and the judge that it never be released." Sixty-three seconds after the man arrived to whisk her and her vehicle to safety, from the side of the busy Hume Highway near Mittagong in New South Wales, a distracted truck driver smashed into the pair. They were both killed instantly. "There was a guardrail that runs for 1600 metres, at the top of a hill, with brambles on the side, running down into a creek," Mr Frazer said. "She was literally trapped on the highway. She couldn't get off the road. The emergency lane she pulled into was too narrow and not built to the safety standards set by authorities." Sarah was driving south that day - February 15, 2012 - to her younger brother Ben's house ahead of his 21st birthday celebrations on the weekend. Mr Frazer asked if she wanted to wait a day to travel with him. He was nervous about her driving alone - a notion she laughed off. "She said to me, 'Dad, I'm travelling Australia's best road - what are you worried about?' "Sarah had been to all these colourful places around the world that terrified us, third-world places on her own … and then she was killed on an Australian road when her car broke down." Mr Frazer is sharing insight into his family's heartache as part of A Split Second - news.com.au's road safety campaign to highlight the human costs of our mammoth road toll. Last year, 1226 Australians were killed in vehicle crashes across the country while 35,000 people were hospitalized with non-fatal injuries. Behind every single number is a grieving family like Mr Frazer's who live with the crippling loss of loved ones every single day. That day, he left for work early and was in a meeting with his phone switched off when Sarah called him after her car lost power. "Cars and trucks are speeding past just centimetres away from my car," she said, her words immortalized in the voicemail message. "No one is changing lanes away from me … I am terrified that they will hit me. I rang the NRMA. Dad, please call me!" It was some time before he heard it, after she and the tow driver were killed at 12.32pm. "In the (dashcam) video you can see her standing in front of the car as he pulls up," Mr Frazer said. "I imagine she would've been so excited, so relieved that he was there. They had a bit of a chat, he was probably telling her to get her gear and get into the truck. "It was 63 seconds from the time he arrived to a distracted truck driver smashing into them." The court heard expert analysis that the driver travelled for a minimum distance of 309 metres, or for 11 seconds, without looking at the road. He veered into the gutter lane, on a collision course with Sarah, and at 0.2 seconds from impact, slammed the wheel to the right so hard that his tires left an indent in the road. "He killed Sarah and the tow truck driver," Mr Frazer said. Out of respect for the tow truck driver's family and at their request, he doesn't use his name in interviews, such is the extent of their grief. It's a pain he understands, particularly having had to witness his "smart, funny, kind and adventurous" child's final moments, those images seared into his memory. "More and more people will have to see the kind of thing that we did, with dashcams being so common now," Mr Frazer said. "I don't want people to see what happens to their loved ones. That's why I'm working in this space. No one should have to see that. No one should have to go through what my family has gone through and continues to go through." Two days after Sarah's death, her brother Ben went to collect her belongings that police salvaged from her car. On the way home, he stopped at the spot where she died. "He was traumatised, seeing where her blood still stained the Hume. But he was struck by how dangerous the road was," Mr Frazer said. "He came back and said that we needed to do something about road safety, to do something positive to help other people." And so they did, starting with a petition calling for the dangerous stretch of road to be urgently fixed, which gained 23,000 signatures and was ultimately successful, and eventually leading to the formation of a road safety lobby group. Safer Australian Roads and Highways, with the perfect acronym of SARAH, is fighting for a "slow down, move over" law requiring motorists to reduce their speed when passing a broken down vehicle. New South Wales recently introduced a reform like that for emergency vehicles, which Mr Frazer benefits from as a rural firefighter. "But they've excluded tow truck drivers and roadside assistance vehicles," he said. "Figures from the NRMA show there are 1.8 million breakdowns in New South Wales alone every year now. It's an enormous amount. "We don't want someone to be killed in those preventable circumstances, as was the case with my beautiful daughter Sarah. She was terrified when trucks and cars were flying by at 100 kilometres per hour and of course she was killed." Sarah would have turned 30 in September. Mr Frazer often wonders what kind of person she would have become, what photographs she might have taken in exotic and far-flung locations. He imagines her sitting around the table at the family's home in the Blue Mountains each Saturday night when he, his wife Judy and Sarah's four siblings catch up for dinner. "On the day of her funeral, I tied a yellow ribbon on to the aerial of our car," he said. "Yellow was her favourite colour. "Now the yellow ribbon has become the national symbol of road safety and I see it everywhere I go around Australia. I have one tied on the bag I take with me as I travel all over the place, just like Sarah once did, and I feel like she's with me." The distracted truck driver was convicted and jailed. Mr Frazer said he has forgiven him as a person, but not what he did and the enormous consequences that resulted. RESOURCE LINK
  19. Only To Bring It Back In Perfect Shape Sheri Duran is a school resource officer in Adams County, Colorado. In November 2017, she was alerted to a suspicious vehicle and went by to investigate. When Sheri peeked inside the windows, she saw a heartbreaking sight. A couple who had just become homeless were sleeping inside the broken-down truck. They feared Sheri would issue them a ticket and/or have their vehicle towed away. Touched by their story, Sheri promised not call the tow truck company. Instead, she called the sheriff’s office community resource team. Deputy Paul Siska arrived at the scene and learned even more about the couple’s desperate situation. They lost their home and were actively looking for jobs, but once their truck broke down, they had no transportation. The deputies banded together and quickly brought the truck to Ingram Car Care Center. There, shop owner Todd Ingram enlisted his motorcycle club to pay for a brand-new working transmission. Todd installed the rest of the repairs and replacements at no cost. But with their truck undergoing repairs, the couple had lost their temporary shelter in the cold winter season. That’s where Deputy Siska took his kindness even further. RESOURCE LINK with video
  20. Cleaner, safer roads is the goal of new legislation that would increase the fines levied on negligent Philadelphia tow truck drivers. The bill, unanimously approved Monday by City Council’s streets and services committee, triples the penalty faced by tow companies that don’t clean up after an accident. The legislation will now move to the full legislative body for a final vote. “You want to resolve the one accident but you don’t want to cause another accident because of your ineptitude on cleaning up,” said City Councilman Al Taubenberger the bill’s sponsor. Taubenberger’s bill increases the fine to $300 from $100. The larger fine is intended to help the city recoup the cost of cleaning up after tow trucks leave the scene of an accident, said City Councilman Mark Squilla, a member of the streets committee. “Debris from auto accidents affects the safety of citizens and creates a significant risk of unnecessary property damage,” Squilla said during his testimony. No one spoke against the bill. Philadelphia Police Department sergeant Matt White spoke in support of the fine hike. He recalled stepping in after tow trucks left to clean up accident debris while working as a patrol officer. The work took time from more important aspects of the job, he said. Taubenberger said that the bill could be voted into law as early as Dec. 13. “I would say take a look around there’s a lot of debris on the street from previous accidents, particularly glass,” he said. “What would it take to take a broom, shovel it up, and put it in a container and take it away?” Whenever the police respond to an accident, the city dispatches tow trucks through their rotational tow program. Tow companies in the program are prohibited from charging for anything more than towing and storage. Joe Camiolo, owner of Joey C’s Towing and Collision in Port Richmond, is not a fan of the proposed legislation. “All around it’s a losing situation for the businessman,” he said. RESOURCE LINK
  21. 12.01.18 JONES COUNTY, Texas — The tow truck driver who witnessed a gruesome accident in Jones County said two 18-wheelers failed to obey the state's "move over law" when they hit and killed a man. David Pickrell was dispatched Friday to tow a car that had broken down on the side of Hwy 92 between Tuxedo and Hwy 277, west of Stamford. About 6:30 p.m., Pickrell said he was loading the car onto his flatbed tow truck when two 18-wheelers, one right after the other, “ran over the customer, his vehicle and (my) tow truck.” “It was like a bad scene from an Evel Knievel video,” Pickrell said. “Something you don’t ever imagine. Once the smoke clears, the second one hits.” Pickrell pleaded for people to follow the move over law. The law requires motorists to move over a lane or slowdown when certain vehicles – including police, fire, EMS, TxDOT vehicles and tow trucks – are stopped on the side of the road with emergency lights flashing. “People just want to go home at the end of the day,” Pickrell said. “That’s all that kid was trying to do that day -- go home.” The Department of Public Safety has not released the name of the victim or the preliminary crash report. RESOURCE LINK
  22. RALEIGH, N.C. — The Highway Patrol is investigating after they say a man used an SUV to ram into the back of a tow truck traling his own car Thursday morning. According to troopers with the State Highway Patrol, a 27-year-old man used his roommate's White Ford Explorer to ram the back of a tow truck on its trip from Garner to Raleigh. Officials said the man's car had just been repossessed, and when a tow truck showed up at his Garner home to tow it early Thursday, he took matters into his own hands. According to officials, the man rammed the tow truck several times on its front, back and side. Both Raleigh police and deputies stopped the man at Dawson and Hillsborough streets. He faces charged of careless and reckless driving. RESOURCE LINK
  23. Police Chief David Nisleit hands out sticker police badges to children along the parade route. Photo by Chris Stone By Chris Stone and Ken Stone Despite confusion over its fate, the 55th annual North Park Toyland Parade took place Saturday morning, attracting a reported 7,000 spectators. Dodging the rain bullet, it proceeded east on University Avenue under cool, partly cloudy skies. But residents who relied on social media or the official website were led to think the parade had been canceled. Those who ignored “tow-away” signs scrambled to recover their vehicles. Kelly Murphy of Utah Street said she heard noise outside her unit Saturday morning and thought it was a garbage truck. Going out to look, she saw tow trucks removing vehicles from Utah between University and Lincoln avenues. She said she noticed on the parade site Friday night that the event was still canceled. So she didn’t move her car from what became the parade’s staging area. At 6:50 a.m., her car was gone. She said she saw “tow truck after tow truck after tow truck” taking away three cars at a time and that several dozen were removed. She was told to check with Western Towing. That company declined to give information. A San Diego Police Department sergeant said officers ordered no cars towed, instead suggesting removals were at the behest of city code enforcement agents — whose office was closed Saturday and unavailable for comment. RESOURCE LINK
  24. A tow truck driver in Northumberland County was charged with impaired driving on Saturday afternoon while responding to a call to remove a vehicle — which was seized due to impaired driving. Northumberland OPP say around 2 p.m. officers responded to reports of a possible impaired driver on County Road 45 near Roseneath in Alnwick-Haldimand Township. Police say an officer located a pickup truck and spoke wit the driver. The officer conducted a roadside test using the Approved Screen Device, resulting in a 64-year-old man from Alnwick-Haldimand Township receiving a three-day driver’s licence suspension. Such a suspension is a penalty if blood alcohol content is in the warn range (0.05 or higher), if a motorist fails a roadside sobriety test or violates the zero tolerance requirement for novice, young or commercial drivers. OPP say a tow company was called to remove the truck. When a tow truck arrived, OPP say the tow truck driver “showed signs of alcohol consumption.” The driver registered an “alert” reading on the ASD. The 64-year-old tow truck driver was also issued a three-day driver’s licence suspension. “The tow truck was removed by a sober driver,” OPP stated. Another tow company was utilized to assist with removing the pickup truck from the scene. No names or any other details in the incident were released. RESOURCE LINK