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  1. HOUSTON--(Business Wire)--360 Towing Solutions Houston, a trusted towing Houston service provider, recently announced that they are toying with the idea of using unmanned aerial vehicles or drones to inspect car breakdown situations within the Houston area. The owners said that this is going to be a revolutionary step for increasing the efficiency of their towing professionals who operate throughout the Houston area all round the clock. At a recent press conference, they spilled the details of their future strategy. According to the owners, starting October 2019, they will deploy a few drones which will be used for taking photographs and videos of stranded vehicles. The Houston towing and roadside assistance service provider aims to use latest technologies for increasing the efficiency of their roadside towing services. One of the senior executives of the company said, “We have planned to use drones for aerial inspection of stranded vehicles. Drones will be sent to the stranded vehicles first and the drone will be used for capturing photos and videos of the stranded vehicles. The drone will send the photos and videos to our control room and the roadside assistance Houston professionals heading for towing the vehicle would be able to know what kind of tools they need to carry or what kind of tow truck is needed for towing the vehicle. This will increase our efficiency by a few notches.” Richard Miller, the CEO of the company, said that they have invested in tow truck Houston before this. Now, they are going to invest in latest technologies to better assess breakdown situations and to act accordingly. “Drone technology has come a long way and the technology is progressively being used across industries. We thought we should change the way vehicles have been traditionally towed. With an aim to revolutionize the towing solutions in Houston, we are going to introduce drones soon for aerial inspection and towing situation assessment. We believe this bold step will put us miles ahead of our competitors,” said the CEO of the company during a recent press conference. About the Company 360 Towing Solutions Houston is one of the leading towing service providers in Houston area. To know more, visit https://360towingsolutions.com/houston/ Full Address: 7111 Harwin Dr #125d, Houston, TX. 77036 View source version on businesswire.com: 360 Towing Solutions Houston Richard Miller Phone: (713) 781-1181 Email: info@360towingsolutions.com Read more: http://www.digitaljournal.com/pr/4451230
  2. Smog checks required for big trucks, under new law signed by Newsom SB 210 is aimed at reducing diesel soot and other air pollution In a move aimed at reducing air pollution, Gov. Gavin Newsom on Friday signed a law that for the first time will require most large trucks in California, including 18-wheel tractor trailers, to pass a regular smog check. Already, cars and passenger vehicles that are six years old or older are required to pass a smog check every two years. But large trucks, a major source of diesel soot and other air pollution, have not been required to pass inspection. On Friday, Newsom signed Senate Bill 210, which requires the California Air Resources Board to set up a pilot program over the next two years and after that put rules in place for truck smog checks. “Just as car owners have to get their own personal cars smog checked every two years, so too should truck operators be required to maintain their emissions controls so that we can ensure long-lasting air quality improvements,” said State Sen. Connie Leyva, D-Chino, who wrote the bill. Heavy-duty trucks operating in California account for nearly 60 percent of the emissions of nitrogen oxides (NOx) — one of the main chemicals that causes smog — from mobile sources and are the largest source of diesel particulate pollution in the state. Environmentalists say the new law will reduce emissions of soot and other contaminants, which contribute to high asthma rates in California, especially for people who live near freeways. “This is the biggest air quality bill of this year,” said Bill Magavern, policy director for the Coalition for Clean Air, an environmental group with offices in Los Angeles and Sacramento. “It’s something we have needed for years,” Magavern said. “Diesel trucks are the single biggest source of air pollution in California.” He added. “The trucks can emit almost 10 times as much pollution as they are supposed to emit. So we need inspections and maintenance to keep their pollution levels down to where they were when the truck was new.” But trucking industry officials say the rules are unnecessary because of other truck engine rules already in place or being phased in over the next few years. They also say they are concerned that the new law may allow state officials to take private data from trucking companies if the state program requires trucks to share information in the on-board computers that track truck emissions and other data. Information kept in those on-board computer systems includes how far the trucks were driven, when they were driven, how fast they went, braking details and other information, said Joe Rajkovacz, a spokesman for the Western States Trucking Association, based in San Bernardino County. “It is proprietary data,” he said. “Under the guise of environmentalism they want to grab people’s data.” He said, “It brings up interesting privacy issues. Law enforcement can’t grab your cell phone at a traffic stop and go through it without a warrant. This is troubling to a lot of people.” A caravan of tow trucks travel along Interstate 5 from Forest Lawn Cemetery, Hollywood Hills, to Castaic Towing, in Castaic, on Saturday, June 29, 2019. The caravan of tow truck drivers made the journey to honor tow truck driver Erwin Mendoza Geremillo who was struck and killed last month as he was helping a stranded motorist on Interstate 5 Freeway. (Photo by Ed Crisostomo, Contributing Photographer) The new law applies to trucks that weigh more than 14,000 pounds. That includes delivery trucks, dump trucks,18-wheel tractor trailers, tanker trucks, farm trucks and others. The law does not include buses. Approximately 12 million people in California live in communities that exceed federal health standards for ground level ozone, or smog, and particulate matter. Many are in the Central Valley and Southern California, which have some of the nation’s highest asthma levels. Other areas with high asthma levels include communities near ports, such as Oakland and Long Beach. Rajkovacz noted that the California Air Resources Board already does regular tests for smoke from trucks at weigh stations and trucking companies. And under landmark rules finalized several years ago, the board required that by 2023, only trucks that are model 2010 or newer can be driven on California roads. That rule was required because older trucks pollute far more than newer trucks, but it was fought vociferously by the trucking industry. “Once bureaucracy has its hooks in an industry, it never lets go,” he said. “It becomes a huge jobs program for public employees. They keep layering on costs.” The law was supported by the American Lung Association, the American Heart Association, the American Cancer Society, the Bay Area Air Quality Management District, Sierra Club California, the Union of Concerned Scientists and other health and environmental organizations. It was opposed by the Western States Trucking Association, the California Farm Bureau Federation, California Cattlemen’s Association and several other industry groups. RESOURCE LINK
  3. Richard Dewane Bundy, 51 of Scott City died Tuesday, September 17, 2019 at Saint Francis Medical Center in Cape Girardeau, Missouri. He was born February 9, 1968 in Cape Girardeau to Lewis Allen and Ruby Evelyn Simmons Bundy. He married Gloria Jean Newbolds on October 2, 2001 in Benton, Missouri. He was a tow truck driver for Sperling's Garage & Wecker Service, Cape Girardeau, Missouri. He is survived by his wife, Gloria; a son, Kevin Bundy of Fruitland; three daughters, Melissa Quertemous, Cheryl Koenig and Melissa Whittington of Scott City; three brothers, Kenneth Bundy of Charleston, Missouri, Bruce Bundy of Jackson, Missouri and Raymond Bundy of Scott City; two sisters, Patricia Johns of Scott City and Tina Bill of Jackson and 14 grandchildren. He was preceded in death by his parents and a daughter, Michelle Bundy on April 12, 2012. Visitation will be from 5:00 – 8:00 pm on Sunday at the Amick-Burnett Funeral Chapel in Scott City. Funeral service will be at 11:00 am on Monday at the chapel with Rev. Randy Morse officiating. Burial will be Memorial Park Cemetery in Cape Girardeau. In lieu of flowers the family requests donations be made to Amick-Burnett Funeral Chapel to assist with funeral expenses. News Story: https://www.semissourian.com/story/2635411.html?fbclid=IwAR0iKpL2j4-DCyUMvVQ4ZYNIfQkX9ban_7VzHmKCxtVMYqPOveLQK6ZQvVM Funeral Home: https://www.amick-burnettfuneralchapels.com/obituary/richard-bundy
  4. A Tesla Model S sat on a tow truck at the Nürburgring as a Porsche Taycan drove past it Tesla didn't want to just top a lap time set by Porsche's new electric vehicle at Germany's iconic Nürburgring race track, it wanted to demolish it. Then things apparently hit the skids. Video posted online Wednesday shows a Tesla's Model S "Plaid" prototype sitting on a tow truck on the track, shortly after setting a Porsche-topping time of 7:20. A Porsche Taycan can be seen driving past the stationary Model S at one point. With improvements, the company says it hopes to hit an even faster time of 7:05. For context, Porsche holds the sports car record for the track at 6:44 with its GT2 RS, achieved on October 25, 2018, but there are no standings published yet for electric vehicles at the famous circuit. Tesla didn't immediately respond to questions about why the Plaid prototype, a heavily modified Model S, was stopped on the track. CEO Elon Musk said last week that a production version of the powertrain option would arrive in about a year for Models S, X, and Roadster, but not the Model 3 or Model Y. The Nurburgring has been a point of contention between Tesla and Porsche ever since the German automaker unveiled its all-electric Taycan Turbo and Turbo S earlier this month. Musk first poked fun at the car's name, telling Porche that "this word Turbo does not mean what you think it does" before heading to the Nurburgring. RESOURCE LINK
  5. Towing companies work overnight to tow flooded cars MOBILE, Ala. (WKRG) — Towing companies in Mobile are busy towing cars that were flooded during Thursday’s flash flooding. Tow truck drivers tell News 5 they have been working since Thursday evening to tow cars that were stranded in the flood waters. Many people were not able to drive their cars out of the parking lots of shopping centers on Dauphin Street. Tow truck companies are taking calls from insurance companies. People are making damage claims and the tow truck companies are picking up the vehicles. Thursday’s flash flooding prompted more than 60 water rescues in Mobile. Firefighters were rescuing people from stranded cars and from homes. RESOURCE LINK with video
  6. A woman with drive: La Patrona gets towing business running LAWRENCE — Should you car break down somewhere in the Merrimack Valley, a strong-willed young woman may very well be at the wheel of the tow truck that comes to your rescue. Roanny Colon, 33, started doing business a few weeks ago and has already started making her mark on the local scene. A man at Walmart in Methuen was experiencing car trouble and noticed Colon's 2006 International 4300 ramp truck in the parking lot. When he saw Colon seated in the cab, he exclaimed, "Oh my! It's a girl!" Colon recalled he was grateful, however, when she hooked up his car, loaded it onto her truck and towed the troubled vehicle out of the parking lot. Colon, who does business as La Patrona – that's Spanish for "the boss" – has 10 years of experience in the towing business. She had a towing business in her native Puerto Rico, where she was also known as La Patrona, but Hurricane Maria put a rude end to it two years ago. A wall collapsed on her tow truck and destroyed it. Colon, her three daughters and many other residents of Puerto Rico left the island and came to Lawrence and other cities on the mainland. Colon had years of experience in her business, but she was in a new environment and needed help in making a new start. That's where EforAll came into the picture. The E in EforAll stands for entrepreneurship. EforAll helps people who have the vision to start their own companies but lack capital and the knowledge of the intricacies of establishing a business, such as setting up a payroll system and obtaining a tax identification number. EforAll has had considerable help from the Deshpande Foundation, which is led by Andover residents Gururaj and Jaishree Deshpande. EforAll has a program for those whose first language is Spanish called EparaTodos, with the E standing for emprendimiento, the Spanish word for entrepreneurship. After her arrival in the Merrimack Valley, Colon was among 14 candidates selected for the 14-week Accelerator course, in which students learn "how to navigate the system," according to Andres Silva, program manager for EparaTodoes in Lawrence and Lowell. EparaTodos has helped Colon deal with the "legalities of setting up a business," Silva said. These include acquiring a tax identification number. The classes have also helped Colon promote her business. She has a website, a Facebook page and she's on Instagram. The official name of her business is La Patrona Services LLC. Her husband, Giovanni Mercado, is a mechanic. He helps her keep her truck in top running condition, she said. With winter on the horizon, Colon plans to expand into another field of endeavor that is still dominated by men: snow plowing. RESOURCE LINK
  7. Trump to block California auto emissions rules The actual headline in the article is a bit misleading. This is the Trump administration that will revoke California's power to enforce more stringent limits on vehicle carbon pollution than the federal government, sparking a battle with the state that has led a revolt against the EPA's rollbacks of dozens of environmental regulations. The long-expected move seeks to neuter California's resistance to President Donald Trump's proposed rewrite of the Obama-era rules that would have required automakers to accelerate the deployment of more fuel-efficient cars and light trucks, a high priority in the state that has led the nation in efforts to fight climate change. The Trump EPA had originally planned to withdraw California's waiver at the same time it issues its broader proposal to roll back federal auto emissions standards. But the administration accelerated its plans to single out California after the state struck an agreement with Ford and three other car makers to continue to lower their vehicles' emissions, even if the federal rules are frozen. California's deal with the automakers recently drew a stern rebuke from EPA and the Transportation Department as well as an anti-trust investigation from the Justice Department. California Gov. Gavin Newsom blasted the Trump administration for undermining its efforts to cut pollution and fight climate change. “The president could learn from California," Newsom said in a statement. "Instead, reports today suggest that his administration will act on a political vendetta by announcing they intend to end aspects of our clean car waiver." California Attorney General Xavier Becerra vowed to fight any attack on the state's authority in court, while Rep. Doris Matsui (D-Calif.) said she is "exploring all options, including legislation, to block the EPA’s rule." But Trump is eager to land a blow against the state that has become a top foe not just on environmental regulation, but also immigration, labor and other contentious issues — even as major business interests worry about the fallout. Automakers, who at first requested that Trump revisit the strict Obama-era standards, have more recently warned that a regulatory split with California would create market chaos. If California successfully defends its right to the waiver in court, automakers could be forced to reckon with two sets of standards — one for California and more than a dozen other states that choose to follow it, and a weaker one for the states that follow the federal rules expected to be finished in the coming months. EPA did not comment on the expected withdrawal. But Administrator Andrew Wheeler previewed the withdrawal during a gathering of the National Automobile Dealers Association on Tuesday. “In the very near future, the Trump administration will begin taking the steps necessary to establish one set of national fuel-economy standards,” Wheeler said, according to prepared remarks distributed by EPA. Wheeler and California officials had sought to strike a compromise earlier this year to maintain a national standard on any new vehicle rules, but those talks collapsed in acrimony, with each side accusing the other of failing to seriously seek a solution. “We embrace federalism and the role of the states, but federalism does not mean that one state can dictate standards for the nation,” Wheeler said. Conservative groups quickly cheered the upcoming waiver withdrawal. “The Trump administration deserves a lot of credit for correcting this constitutional and legal monstrosity,” said Myron Ebell of the Competitive Enterprise Institute. “No state, not even California, has a right to set national fuel economy standards for all the other states.” But Janet McCabe, an Obama-era EPA air chief, told POLITICO that the withdrawal of California’s waiver would be “unfortunate” and would again set back policies critical for addressing greenhouse gases. Climate change “is a ‘y’all come’ situation, where we need all the reasonable programs that we can get in place,” she said. “And this is one of the most reasonable and impactful across the board.” Environmental Defense Fund President Fred Krupp said his group would fight the Trump EPA's move in court. “The unlawful approach the Trump administration is reportedly planning seeks to block states from choosing clean car standards that protect millions of people from tailpipe pollution,” Krupp said. Other states have levied challenges to Trump’s deregulatory agenda, especially New York, and environmentalists and public health advocates regularly join those fights. But California holds a special place when it comes to the environment, as well as drawing the president’s ire. The Clean Air Act gives California unique powers to enforce stronger pollution standards than the federal level. But that power is contingent on EPA's waiver, which is what the agency plans to revoke on Wednesday. In addition, the District of Columbia and 13 states have adopted California's stricter greenhouse gas rules: Oregon, Washington, Colorado, Maryland, Pennsylvania, Delaware, New Jersey, New York, Connecticut, Rhode Island, Massachusetts, Vermont and Maine. Together those states make up 36 percent of U.S. auto sales, and only one — Pennsylvania — supported Trump in 2016. The Trump administration now argues that California’s ability to set more stringent requirements applies only to pollutants like nitrogen oxides that can be controlled through technologies such as catalytic converters. Conversely, controlling carbon dioxide emissions is primarily achieved via fuel efficiency increases. But that tramples on the 1975 law that created the DOT’s Corporate Average Fuel Economy, or CAFE, program, according to the legal argument made by the Trump administration. The Energy Policy and Conservation Act says states "may not adopt or enforce a law or regulation related to fuel economy standards." California’s greenhouse gas standards closely resemble the fuel economy standards, so they are prohibited, the Trump administration argues. But two federal judges rejected similar arguments on EPCA preemption in 2007. Appeals in those cases were dropped as part of the Obama administration’s negotiations with automakers to set one national standard, and the Trump administration says those opinions are not controlling and rely on out-of-date information. Wheeler on Tuesday said that the greenhouse gas rollback would not affect other California efforts to limit vehicle emissions unrelated to climate change. “California will be able to keep in place and enforce programs to address smog and other forms of air pollution caused by motor vehicles,” he said in his prepared remarks to the auto dealers group. RESOURCE LINK
  8. Charles Legg of A1 Towing and Heavy Haul of Twin Falls Idaho passed away Thursday September 12, 2019. Reports are it was due to an aneurysm. He was 59 years of age. Born: Sep 27, 1959 – Died: Sep 12, 2019 Images taken from Charles FB Page: Those that knew Charles are posting condolences to Jared Legg on his FB page at https://www.facebook.com/jared.legg.39?fref=profile_friend_list&hc_location=friends_tab Please feel free to post your condolences here.
  9. Alabama Towing & Recovery Association has released this death notification: We just received word that Mrs. Faye Harrelson, owner of Harrelson Body Shop and Towing passed away today (09/14/2019). Our thoughts and prayers go out to her family. Harrelson Body Shop and Towing has been a staple in the Mobile towing community since 1979. Faye’s husband, R.B. was a pioneer in the wrecker community and an advocate to fairness with the city ordinance and helping to fix it back in the early writings of it.. Mrs. Faye was right beside RB along the way. Keeping him in line.. She is going to be deeply missed.
  10. Motorcyclist killed after crashing into wrecker in NE Houston Houston police said speeding is to blame for the deadly crash. HOUSTON — Houston police said speeding is to blame for a fatal motorcycle accident in northeast Houston Saturday morning. The motorcyclist was driving in the 6800 block of Jensen Drive when they failed to stop and crashed into a wrecker that was pulling a car from a ditch, according to police. The motorcyclist was pronounced dead on scene. RESOURCE LINK
  11. VIDEO PENDING: Photo by: WTFD INDIANAPOLIS — Part of I-465 was closed Friday afternoon near 10th Street after a crane fell off of a tow truck. The Wayne Township Fire Department says the tow truck was traveling on 10th Street when the crane fell off and rolled down an embankment, hitting a vehicle before it landed on I-465. The person inside the vehicle was checked at the scene but did not suffer serious injuries. RESOURCE LINK with video
  12. Caught on camera: Tow truck driver just misses getting hit by SUV RESOURCE LINK with video
  13. Multiple injuries as taxi and heavy-duty tow truck collide on Van Reenen’s Pass Emergency personnel, towing services and RTI officers responded to the scene Numerous occupants in a minibus taxi were injured in a crash on Van Reenen’s Pass on Tuesday (September 10). A heavy-duty tow truck was in the process of ‘recovering’ a truck that was in the ‘arrester bed’ when the taxi crashed into it. Those in the minibus who sustained injuries were treated at the scene before being taken to hospital. Emergency personnel, towing services and RTI officers responded to the scene. The taxi had to be towed away. RESOURCE LINK
  14. LANETT — A passenger bus caught on fire while being towed Tuesday night on Interstate 85 Southbound, according to Lanett Fire Chief Johnny Allen. Allen said nobody was inside of the bus when it caught on fire and the driver of the tow truck was not injured. He said the tow truck did receive some fire damage. The call came to the fire department at about 11:30 p.m. Tuesday. Allen said the bus was fully involved by the time firefighters got on scene and didn’t leave until about 3 a.m. The southbound portion of the interstate was also shut down during that time due to a diesel fuel spill. Allen said the official cause of the fire is undetermined as of Wednesday afternoon, but the suspected cause is that there was friction caused by an unknown source while being towed. Due to the fuel spill, Allen said he contacted the Alabama Department of Transportation, which responded from its Alexander City post to clean up the spill. Allen said he isn’t sure how much fuel was spilled, but he is required to call ALDOT and the Alabama Emergency Management Agency. He said he also called the Chambers County EMA office as well. Chambers County EMA Director Jessica Yeager said she was in contact with ALDOT officials Tuesday night but was told they had it under control. She said she was ready to respond to the scene if needed. “They handled that so well, and they kept me informed,” she said. Allen said there were no injuries to anyone during the incident. RESOURCE LINK
  15. Woman killed in crash with flatbed tow truck on Indy’s east side. INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – A woman is dead after a crash involving a flatbed tow truck on the east side of Indianapolis. The crash occurred just after 6 a.m. at the intersection of 30th Street and Ritter Avenue. The woman driver had to be cut out of the car, and medics transported her to Eskenazi Hospital. She was later pronounced dead. The intersection will be partially blocked for at least the next hour. We will update this story when we have more information. RESOURCE LINK
  16. 09.10.19 - A 22-year-old man died Wednesday morning in a collision between a tow truck and a transport truck at Kouchibouguac in eastern New Brunswick, RCMP say. Richibucto RCMP said the tow truck was heading south on Route 11 and the transport truck was going north, when they collided at about 6:30 a.m. Cpl. Eric Fiel said an off-duty RCMP officer witnessed the collision and called police. "The tow-truck driver was found deceased at the scene," said Cpl. Eric Fiel. "The other driver wasn't injured in the collision." He said the matter is still under investigation, but police believe the collision occurred when the tow truck crossed the centre line and hit the rear of the transport truck. It was raining at the time. Fiel said police will interview witnesses as part of the investigation. RESOURCE LINK
  17. A report of a tow truck driver who was run over by a vehicle he was attempting to load on Tuesday morning 09.10.19. The news report stated police found him with tire marks across his stomach. Police went on to say the driver was in the process of hooking up the parked vehicle when it began to roll. “He tried to stop it and the left rear tire rolled over his abdomen,” The driver was taken to Hackensack University Medical Center with injuries that weren’t considered life-threatening.
  18. Bottle with man's ashes resumes journey in Gulf of Mexico A bottle containing the ashes of a Texas man along with some handwritten notes from loved ones has been returned to the Gulf of Mexico, resuming its ocean journey after it washed up on a Florida Panhandle beach. The beachgoer who found the bottle near Miramar Beach handed it over to local authorities last week. Inside were some of the ashes of Brian Mullins, a tow truck driver from Garland, Texas, who died earlier this year at age 39. Sgt. Paula Pendleton of the Walton County Sheriff's Office said she cried while reading the notes, which included the phone number of the deceased man's family. His mother had placed four $1 bills in the bottle to help pay for the phone calls she hoped people would make to update her family on the bottle's journey. "This bottle contains the ashes of my son, Brian, who suddenly and unexpectedly passed on March 9, 2019," one of the handwritten notes said. "I'm sending him on one last adventure." A second note, written on wrinkled school paper, especially moved Sgt. Pendleton, whose husband died last year. "When my father passed, I was 14-years-old," the message read. "It has struck our whole family pretty hard and, so far, it has been a very hard road. But, like my granny said, he loved to be free. So, that's exactly what we are doing." Pendleton knew she had to help. "I was overwhelmed with emotion," Pendleton recalled. "I sat in here, in my patrol car, and cried like a baby." Pendleton enlisted an acquaintance who owns a charter boat to ferry the ashes far off the Florida coast. And on Friday, the bottle, the dollar bills and the ashes were again at sea. "He was an avid fisherman. He wanted to travel the world," his mother Darlene Mullins said, noting that her son had never gone ocean fishing. Garland, a suburb northeast of Dallas, is about 300 miles (480 kilometers) from the Gulf Coast. Unable to afford to take her son's ashes out to sea herself, the mother entrusted the task to relatives bound for Florida. While visiting the small Panhandle community of Destin in early August, the bottle was released into the tide. "We thought it might have been the last we saw of the bottle," Darlene Mullins said. "But we'll see where it turns up again." http://www.startribune.com/bottle-with-man-s-ashes-resumes-journey-in-gulf-of-mexico/559765422/ No father info could be located at this time. if anyone has info that can be added to the memorial page please advise.
  19. Join The California Tow Truck Association For National Move Over Day in Three Locations On October 19th, spread awareness of Move Over Laws SACRAMENTO, Calif., Sept. 6, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- The California Tow Truck Association will join over a dozen other States on October 19, 2019 to raise public awareness of Move Over laws and the roadside dangers that towing operators and emergency responders face daily. In the United States, one tow operator is killed in the line of duty every six days. "We are losing towing operators at an enormous rate. Anything we can do to help stop this, and create awareness for tow trucks, we should try and do our part," said Angela Barnett, executive director of the Arizona Professional Towing & Recovery Association, which is organizing the nationwide effort. Unfortunately, the general public lacks a keen awareness of Move Over laws. A National Safety Commission survey indicated that 71 percent of U.S. drivers are unaware of Move Over laws. In addition, the national increase in distracted driving continues to place towing operators in mortal danger as they seek to help others in distress. "Tow operators are some of the hardest working people on the planet. They are out on the roads every hour of every ­day, protecting the motoring public. Raising awareness of Move Over laws is the least we can do for our fallen brothers and sisters, and hopefully our message will make an impact," remarked CTTA President Quinn Piening of Central Towing & Transport in Fremont. The California Tow Truck Association has planned a tow truck/first responder vehicle parade route and event in Los Angeles (Santa Fe Dam Recreational Area), San Francisco (San Leandro Marina) and Cloverdale (Cloverdale Citrus Fairgrounds). Maps of each route can be found at ctta.com/moveover. Staging of tow trucks and first responder vehicles will begin at 7:00 am at all locations and the route will circle back to their starting points, whereupon attendees will enjoy catered food, raffles, games and more! The California Tow Truck Association, tow operators, and first responders statewide urge you to join us in highlighting this effort to raise awareness. Founded in 1969, the California Tow Truck Association (CTTA) represents professional towing operators statewide. Created by and for towing company owners, CTTA provides unparalleled solutions and resources that empower towing companies to be more professional and progressive within the industry while serving the motoring public. ctta.com/MoveOver CALIFORNIA TOW TRUCK ASSOCIATION Quinn Piening, CTTA President 510-377-4728
  20. Tow truck drivers are out there working one of America’s most dangerous jobs Jose Francisco Rael Jr.’s tow truck lumbered over to the side of the westbound 60 Freeway. It was rush hour, and a beat-up Chevrolet sedan was on the shoulder with a flat. Rael paused before opening his door, peeked over his shoulder to ensure no vehicles would sideswipe him and, once out on the asphalt, turned around. He walked backward to the front of his truck, giving him at least a tiny chance to jump from trouble. As he crouched over asphalt, jacking up the Chevy to replace the tire, he was at his most vulnerable. Just a few feet away, cars and semi-trucks hustled by. Rael was paying attention to all of them – even if the drivers were not paying attention to him. “I can feel their wind,” he had said earlier when asked if he knew when trouble was too close. Sometimes, tow truck drivers get what they call a “tap on the shoulder” – brushed by a side mirror. Many others suffer worse. All this makes driving tow trucks, especially on freeways, one of the most dangerous jobs in the country. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention – in a rare study focused on the trade – determined that in five years ending in 2016, 191 tow truck drivers were killed nationwide. That worked out to 42.9 fatal injuries per 100,000 workers. Only pilots, roofers and fishermen had higher death rates if that statistic is compared to figures of other jobs considered by the Bureau of Labor Statistics for 2017. For firefighters, according to the BLS, the rate was 8.9 deaths per 100,000 workers. For police, it was 12.9 deaths. “First responders all get hit – firefighters, EMTs, Caltrans, Highway Patrol,” said California Highway Patrol Officer Kathlene New, who is based in Orange County. “It just seems like tow trucks are getting hit more frequently.” Lawmakers have tried to help. Every state in the nation has adopted its own “Slow Down, Move Over” law, California in 2007. It requires drivers to slow down and move over a full lane if they can do so safely when they see an emergency vehicle with flashing lights on a freeway shoulder. “Some drivers, if they see a firetruck on the freeway, they know they have to move over,” said Patrick Sampson, the manager of motor services for the Orange County Transportation Authority, which oversees the local Freeway Service Patrol. “But if they see a tow truck, they don’t. They don’t associate the appearance of a tow truck with safety.” Injuries and worse CHP Officer New supervises tow truck drivers in Orange County’s Freeway Service Patrol, a cousin of what Rael works for in Los Angles County. These specialized tow trucker drivers, funded by the state and the county that has them, pull over for every stopped motorist they find, giving stranded drivers a tank of gas or a tow off of the freeway for free, aiming to keep overall traffic moving along. “We haven’t lost anybody, but I had a driver get hit so hard that he never came back to work,” New said of Orange County’s fleet. That driver was struck a few years ago while in the middle of the 5 Freeway, just south of the 91, when trying to tow a broken-down car to safety. Another vehicle slammed into the tow truck, sending him careening into the truck’s back window, head first. He end up with just cuts and scrapes – but that was enough. New ticks off other near-disasters: A driver who got got hit on his elbow, then narrowly missed a second strike as the car spun around. Another struck as he was stretching to grab a bucket in the lanes. “I’ve had an operator who carefully tried to open his door, when he was sideswiped,” she said. “I’ve had an operator who got his foot run over when he was assisting a driver.” It can get much, much worse out there. Mark Tornow, who owns and drives for Finish Line Towing & Transport in Long Beach, knows all of this too well. He lost an employee, in 2012. Faapuna Manu, a 27-year-old father of three, was changing a tire on a darkened Cherry Avenue onramp of the 405 Freeway when a drunk driver in a 2005 Toyota struck him. A recent morning, from behind the wheel of one of his trucks as he beelined to rescue a woman stranded by a flat tire in a sushi shop parking lot, Tornow recalled the crash that killed “Mac.” “Mac was on the side of the road changing a tire at 2:28 in the morning,” Tornow said. An EMT driving home from a holiday party plowed into the tow truck, and then the Mercedes Benz, right where Mac was kneeling down in the roadway. “(The driver) spun out, then he hit the wall,” Tornow said. “When he woke up and saw what he did, he took some glass and tried to kill himself. … It’s dangerous out here.” ‘Like a bull’s-eye’ In February, in Sausalito north of San Francisco, an AAA tow truck driver helping a motorist stranded on the 101 Freeway was killed when a passing pickup truck lost control in the rain and slammed into the tow truck, which hit the AAA driver standing on the other side, killing him. In June, another AAA driver was killed, this time in Castaic, as he was helping a driver on the 5 Freeway: A passing semi-truck hit the driver and fled, with the semi’s driver never found. Erwin Mendoza Geremillo, a 47-year-old father from Castaic, was that AAA driver. On June 29, he was buried at Forest Lawn Memorial Park, Hollywood Hills. Tow truck drivers from around the region attended his funeral. On the road leading to the cemetery’s central white chapel, surrounded by rolling green hills, a dozen tow trucks lined up on either side. The jumpsuit-clad drivers hopped out, gathered, then headed into the chapel. Most did not know Mendoza. But many knew a driver like him who had been killed. All have had close calls themselves. Not long before, Johnny Perez, a 45-year-old tow truck company owner from Baldwin Park, was aiding a stranded motorist on the 10 Freeway when a semi-truck sideswiped his tow truck, shearing off a side mirror. “I saw the semi kind of veering,” Perez, a former EMT, said near the parked tow trucks. “I jumped out of the way. If I wouldn’t have moved, I would have been hit.” Mendoza’s assignment that night, the overnight shift, is one many drivers dread. “If it’s not stop-and-go traffic, it’s dangerous out there,” said Ken Wilson, an owner and driver of Panorama Towing Service in Panorama City. “For the late shift, sometimes my guys don’t even want to go out there. “It’s like rolling the dice.” A driver could get distracted, or misjudge the distance to the right shoulder. Or a drunk could come your way. “We’re like a bull’s-eye,” said Bill Rauh, a 61-year-old driver with Castaic Towing, Mendoza’s employer. He and others say drunk drivers tend to drift in the direction of lights, including the amber LEDs on their tow trucks. “They want to go toward the lights.” ‘It got close’ Tina Coffey, 47, is a rarity – a woman tow truck driver. She and her husband, Steve, also a tow truck driver, own a towing company in Barstow and were in Hollywood Hills as well to honor Mendoza, who they didn’t know. The couple has eight children and step children – there’s plenty to worry about if either gets injured or killed out on the road. “It’s like we’re resigned to more deaths,” she said. “But then something like this happens, and it reminds us that we’re vulnerable.” Despite the danger, tow truck drivers keep driving. “Why do I still drive?” Tornow said. “Well, I like it.” The industry is recession proof – in downturns, more people drive older cars, so tow services are needed more frequently. Some point out they like helping people. Back on the 60 Freeway, Rael has just finished changing the Chevy’s tire. He climbed back into the cab. Even though it’s early in the day, it was already warm out, and he was drenched in sweat. “It’s constantly on my mind,” he said of the possibility of getting hit. “Looking for someone drifting over, not paying attention. If I see it coming, just making sure I don’t get hit.” On the passenger side of his dashboard is a copy of “Our Daily Bread” sitting next to a taped-in-place wooden crucifix. Just a week before, a semi-truck barreling along the 605 Freeway forced Rael, on foot, to tuck into a safer spot. “It got close, it got very close,” he said. “He was drifting a little bit, and I go, ‘Wait a minute, something’s wrong.’ “ Rael was sure the driver was looking at his cellphone. “I saw him get back in (his lane), but he went like this.” Rael mimicked the driver, looking up from a hand and saying, “‘Oh!’” RESOURCE LINK
  21. TULSA — Tulsa Fire Department says that a tow truck was on fire near the Arkansas River in the area of 49th West Avenue and Charles Page Boulevard. TFD says that one vehicle was in the river and is thought to have been stolen yesterday. The other vehicle, a tow truck, was attempting to get the car out of the river this morning, TFD says. The driver of the tow truck had to leave to get help and when they came back, the tow truck was on e, TFD says. There is no further information at this time. RESOURCE LINK
  22. One person was killed and another was injured in a tow truck vs. car crash Tuesday evening near downtown Lubbock. At approximately 6:18 p.m. on Tuesday, officers responded to a reported crash with injuries at 19th Street and the Interstate 27 northbound frontage road, according to police. A 2018 Dodge Ram 5500 tow truck was traveling north on the I-27 frontage road. The tow truck had another vehicle on the flatbed and was towing a second vehicle on the wheel lift. A 2010 Chevrolet Camaro was eastbound on 19th Street. The tow truck and the Camaro collided in the intersection. The driver of the tow truck, 26-year-old Patric Barrio, died at the scene. The driver of the Camaro was taken to Covenant Medical Center with minor injuries. The LPD Major Crash Unit responded to the scene and is investigating the cause of the crash. RESOURCE LINK
  23. WHILE off-loading a vehicle from a tow truck, a road-side assistance worker was critically injured in Gasparillo on Thursday night. The vehicle rolled over Ryan Rattan, 34, of Diamond Village San Fernando, police said. The incident occurred at Jules Trace, San Fabien Road where Rattan had responded to a job. A police report said that around 10.30 p.m. Rattan, an employee of Roadside Assistance Services, was in the process of off-loading a Nissan B-14 car from a wrecker, when the vehicle rolling and Rattan fell under the vehicle. Paramedics took him to the San Fernando General Hospital where he was expected to undergo emergency surgery. Cpl Mycoo of the Gasparillo Police is investigating. RESOURCE LINK Tow truck employee dies days after being crushed Paramedics took him to the hospital. Rattan underwent two surgeries in two days, his sister Sara Rattan, posted on Facebook, and the family was trying to raise $20,000 to fund a third surgery. “For everyone who knows Ryan knows the kind of stand up man he is and he would give the shirt off his back to help you. We are asking that you keep him in your prayers”, she wrote last week. RESOURCE LINK
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