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  1. 11 young people will be housed in former ABC daycare site on London Road Young people struggling with homelessness in Sarnia will soon have a chance to rent their own affordable apartment. This summer, a transitional affordable housing project for 16 to 24 year olds in need is expected to open on the site of the former ABC daycare on London Road. The project is the brainchild of Tammy Vandenheuval and her husband Gary, owners of Preferred Towing, a towing company in Sarnia. "The biggest reason why my heart is into this is because I experienced homelessness when I was 16," Vandenheuval told Afternoon Drive host Chris dela Torre, adding she was on her own for a month before finding a place with relatives. "It was very scary." The Vandenheuvals have received a grant from the County of Lambton for the project, with the rest of the money coming from fundraising efforts and the couple's own funds. The building will have seven units, with three being single-occupant, and the remainder double. "In our area, [homelessness among youth] is quite prevalent," Vandenheuval said. "It's very hard for youth to find an apartment where someone will rent to them ... some youth [end up living in] places that should not be occupied." The final price tag of the project is expected to be $1.5 million. RESOURCE LINK Building help for homeless youth A transitional, affordable housing project for 16-24-year-olds should be up and running by the summer, if all goes well, says one of the people making it happen. A transitional, affordable housing project for 16- to 24-year-olds should be up and running by the summer, if all goes well, says one of the people making it happen. “In hindsight it really has been moving along quickly,” said Tammy Vandenheuvel. She and husband Gary contracted renovations in December at the former ABC Daycare on London Road. Gutted, with new heating and cooling, plumbing has been mostly completed, and drywall is about halfway there on the eventual seven-apartment affordable rental building for youth, Vandenheuvel said. Bouyed by a $980,000 transitional housing grant from the province, by way of Lambton County, the $1.5-million project is about helping homeless youth turn their lives around, said Vandenheuvel. She was homeless at age 16, she said. “It was scary back then, and that’s why this is such a big deal for me, why I’ve been pushing so hard and why we really put ourselves on the line for this project.” Vandenheuvel, one among dozens of community partners helping guide the Rebound-directed Hub at St. Luke’s United Church, said the not-for-profit, yet-unnamed housing project is under contract for 20 years to offer housing at rates 20 per cent below market value. There are three single and four double apartments being built, she said, in the transitional housing model. Transitional generally means tenants stay between 12 months and three years, city planner Max Williams said in November 2017, when city council granted rezoning for the project. Between then and now has been taken up with getting drawings completed and obtaining the building permit, Vandenheuvel said. They’re also appealing to youth for suggestions to name the building, she said. The housing is expected to help youth build up credit and learn life skills, she said, noting residents would receive government funding that would go towards rent. The Vandenheuvels and the county are still working out how they’ll evaluate applications, she said. “(Youth) have to be ready for it,” she said. “They have to be the right fit because we want them to be successful.” There’ll be no on-site supervision, she said, but Rebound has funding for housing support – checking in on tenants, making sure they’re going to programs and helping them with cooking, cleaning and other general living skills, Vandenheuvel said. Hub partners have also agreed to keep the resource centre located at St. Luke’s United Church, Vandenheuvel and Carrie McEachran, executive director at Rebound, said. There was debate previously about moving the Hub to the housing complex. The basement in the three-storey structure at 811 London Rd. was being eyed as a common area, but is being left now until another tenant can be found, Vandenheuvel said. Community support has been strong, Vandenheuvel said. Many have offered to help. “We hopped into this because we wanted to do something good for the community, but really had no idea what we were getting into,” she said. It’s also positive to see partnership with the two-year-old Hub, she said, as housing for 16-24-year-olds was always part of the vision for the drop-in and support service centre. “I was part of that committee and we talked about it over and over again, and we heard from youth coming out, ‘I didn’t have a place to sleep last night,’” Vandenheuvel said. “It just, it broke my heart.” Those testimonials are what spurred her to create the transitional housing, she said. “I thought ‘We have to do this. We have to take the leap of faith because nobody else is.’” RESOURCE LINK Yes, you know them from Heavy Rescue 401
  2. Good Samaritan springs into action to help injured CHP Officer By the time Christian Melendrez made it over, CHP Officer Philip Martinson had already been stabbed in the back. WILLIAMS, Calif. — Some superheroes wear capes. Others work as tow truck operators. What Christian Melendrez did on Friday night is the definition of heroic. It was a routine shift for the 21-year-old towing operator on Friday evening. He was heading to Williams to pick up a vehicle when he noticed something on the side of Interstate 5 that he couldn't ignore. "I came across a CHP officer patrol car pulled over with another vehicle...he was wrestling on the ground," recalled Melendrez. What Melendrez came across was CHP Officer Philip Martinson wrestling with a driver he'd pulled over on suspicion of driving impaired. By the time Melendrez made it over to the skirmish, Martinson had already been stabbed in the back by 25-year-old Halie Neil. Fortunately, Melendrez was able to tackle Neil and get her in handcuffs before she could do something worse. "First thing I did was grab (Officer Martinson's) handcuffs from the back, and I grabbed her hands and handcuffed her. Then I turned her over to look for the knife. I saw the knife laying there and threw it on the asphalt," said Melendrez. Had Melendrez not stepped in, the outcome could have been a lot different. "Definitely saved his life and her life. Christian went above and beyond that day," CHP Officer Franco Castillo told ABC10. As far as Melendrez's future aspirations are concerned, he hopes to one day join the force. "I've always wanted to be a CHP Officer. The moment they give me the application, I'm definitely going to fill it out. And hopefully, I'll have some great references," Melendrez said. Neil is being charged with attempted murder. RESOURCE LINK with video
  3. Tow Truck Operator Helps Stabbed CHP Officer WILLIAMS (CBS13) — He is a tow truck driver being hailed a hero on the highway for helping a CHP officer injured in a knife attack. Christian Melendrez is a tow truck operator for Selover’s Tow in Williams. Friday night he was driving near Williams on Interstate 5 when he saw two bodies wrestling off the side of the interstate near a CHP patrol car. He pulled over to see if he could help. “So I got out of the tow truck, I started, once I got down, I was like, okay they’re really fighting like wrestling,” Melendrez said. “I started running that way.” Melendrez saw CHP Officer Philip Martinson in trouble. “First thing when I got there, the first thing he said was, ‘I’ve been stabbed, she stabbed me with a blade,” Melendrez said. Officer Martinson had reportedly been stabbed in the back by the woman he pulled over for speeding, 25-year-old Haile Neil, of Martinez. Melendrez pulled the officer’s handcuffs from his belt. “He was like, ‘swing it on her,’ I was like, ‘okay,’” Melendrez said. “The first one I kind of struggled, the second one I was just, slap it on there.” A police radio recording includes the call officer Martinson made into dispatch shortly after. “I’m at Selover’s Tow,” Martinson said in the recording. “Here help me, dude. One female in custody. I’ve been stabbed in the back.” ALSO: Putting The Gas Tax To Work: Caltrans Is Hiring “So afterward, when we had her under control, I started lifting up his vest and his shirt, and that’s when all the blood started coming out,” Melendrez said. A wild scene that could have ended so much worse, if not for a tow truck operator showing no hesitation to help. “Hero, not really,” Melendrez said. “Did I help out a lot, did I make a difference? I probably did.” That CHP officer was flown to a trauma center, but has been released and is expected to make a full recovery. Melendrez says he is now considering a career in law enforcement. RESOURCE LINK with video
  4. California Highway Patrol grateful for heroic effort WILLIAMS, Calif. (KCRA) — A 21-year-old tow truck driver is being called a hero after he ran to the rescue of a California Highway Patrol officer who was under attack. "I saw the cop car pulled over with the lights on,” said Christian Melendrez, a tow truck driver who just happened to be in the right place at the right time Friday night along Interstate 5, near the Colusa County town of Williams. The CHP says Officer Philip Martinson was stabbed in the back with a knife by a suspected DUI driver who was pulled over after speeding at more than 100 mph with hazard lights flashing. Melendrez said it was instinct that made him respond to an officer in trouble. He said he jumped into action to follow the wounded officer’s instructions. “The next thing was, 'Can you grab some handcuffs? Help me,'” Melendrez said. “So I did. I took the handcuffs off his belt from the back, turned her over, got one arm in, put one on, got the other one." The struggle wasn't over yet, though. “And then I turned her over and realized the blade was still underneath her. So I grabbed the blade and threw it on the asphalt,” Melendrez said. The woman arrested was 25-year-old Haile Neil, of Martinez. She is now in the Colusa County jail, where KCRA 3 interviewed her on Tuesday. Neil said she was en route to Oregon to visit her sister when she was pulled over. She said she was confused about what happened, but she denied attacking the officer. Meanwhile, the CHP is grateful that Melendrez intervened. “The good Samaritan, he put his life on the line,” said CHP Officer Franco Castillo. “We appreciate what he did for Officer Martinson.” “It was definitely a brave act and very heroic on his part,” Castillo added. Melendrez’s boss, Brad Selover, said he is proud of his employee's heroic actions. He said he instructs his drivers to be on the lookout for officers in trouble. "They are out there daily helping us to slow down traffic, so I teach them to return the favor -- you know, keep an eye on the officers and make sure they are standing upright when they go by,” Selover said. “I train them to keep their eyes open for scenarios like this." He said the hope is that “they never come across one -- that an officer is never in that position. But it happened and he acted and he did the right thing.” For his part, Melendrez said he’s glad he just happened to be in a position to help save the officer. “I'm glad he's good,” Melendrez said of Martinson. “I hope to see him soon and talk to him.” Martinson is a four-year veteran of the force. The CHP said he is sore from his stab wounds but home now, resting, and expected to make a full recovery. Neil is facing charges of attempted murder of a peace officer, assault with a deadly weapon and driving under the influence of a controlled substance. RESOURCE LINK with video
  5. A small repair garage in Hatfield is where it all began for Balise Auto! One is a photo of the company’s first tow truck, or wrecker, as they were called in those days — a 1948 Weaver with a three-ton boom and a hand crank. It’s symbolic of how the company has always been about more than merely selling cars. Check out BusinessWest's featured article on our company history and how the company is celebrating 100 years! RESOURCE LINK
  6. Driver crashes into Alabama State Trooper vehicle stopped along interstate TUSCALOOSA, Ala. (WALA) -- An Alabama State Trooper avoided serious injuries Sunday when his patrol car was struck by another vehicle on Interstate 59. Investigators said the trooper was parked off of the road on I-59 southbound near exit 89 in Tuscaloosa County. Troopers said a passenger vehicle driving southbound left the roadway and crashed into the back of the trooper's car and sideswiped a State Trooper SUV. A tow truck driver was also struck by the vehicle. Both the trooper and the tow truck driver were taken to a hospital for treatment of minor injuries. The person driving the passenger vehicle was not injured. RESOURCE LINK
  7. BELTON, Texas (KWTX) A woman who earlier pleaded no contest to a criminally negligent homicide charge in the death of a local tow truck driver was sentenced to five years deferred adjudication probation Tuesday. Sybil Warrick was sentenced in the 264th District Courty by Judge Paul LePak. If she successfully completes the term of probation, the conviction won’t appear on her record. The victim's family was present in the courtroom during the sentencing. Warrick was indicted on May 2, 2018 for criminally negligent homicide in Scott Bowle's death. The 39-year-old tow truck driver was working along U.S. Highway 190 on May 11, 2017 when officials said a minivan struck him and amputated his leg. Bowles was taken to Seton Medical Center in Harker Heights where he later died. Warrick was later arrested in Fort Smith, Ark. on a Bell County warrant. She was returned to Bell County to face the charge. RESOURCE LINK Proof Judges "DO NOT CARE" Woman gets five years deferred adjudication for criminally negligent homicide BELTON — A woman who ran over and killed a tow truck driver May 11, 2017, was sentenced Tuesday to 5 years deferred adjudication probation — with some slight modifications, her judge said. Scott Bowles was killed while loading a disabled vehicle onto the back of his tow truck off Interstate 14 in Harker Heights. Sybil Warrick from Fort Smith, Ark., might be able to serve her probation in her home state if emergency approval is granted through the Interstate Compact. Until approval is granted, Warrick can’t leave Bell County. Warrick can’t drive at all while on probation unless a doctor certifies she is able to drive, Bell County 264th District Court Judge Paul LePak said. She could have been sentenced to probation or state jail for up to 2 years, but it could have been as little as 180 days, according to the Texas Penal Code. LePak waived a curfew for Warrick and reduced her community service from 300 hours to 100 hours. Warrick must participate in a violence intervention program, take all medications as prescribed by a physician, repay all court costs and attorney fees, have psychological screening and counseling if prescribed, undergo substance abuse testing and complete several other programs. She must also pay about $580 in restitution. The hearing Warrick waited outside the courtroom in a wheelchair as she did for a Jan. 11hearing. When it was time, she was pushed into the courtroom by her husband and was told to sit at the defense table. Bowles’ wife, Stephanie, their son Sean, family members and supportive friends walked into the room, most of them wearing “Tow Lives Matter” T-shirts. The prosecution, led by Stephanie Newell, presented no evidence before sentencing. Anthony Smith was Warrick’s attorney, and he asked LePak to sentence Warrick to deferred adjudication probation. Smith repeatedly referred to Bowles’ death as an accident and said Arkansas didn’t have a Move Over or Slow Down law. He claimed Warrick didn’t know about the law, so she shouldn’t be held as responsible. Smith talked about Warrick’s medical condition and said she was in the hospital at least once a week while she waits for a liver transplant. Smith objected to the drug or alcohol testing, the curfew and community service based on her medical condition. He also asked for her probation to be moved to Arkansas because being in Texas was a hardship for Warrick and her family. Newell pointed out Arkansas’ law was very similar to that of Texas and asked LePak to sentence Warrick to no less than 5 years probation — but not deferred probation. She brought up the Interstate Compact, explained it to LePak and Smith and asked that Warrick be required to serve her probation in Bell County. Smith said putting Warrick in jail would kill her and she would die if she didn’t go back to Arkansas. LePak stated the verdict he’d made and authorized Warrick’s return to Arkansas if it was approved. Warrick waived her right to appeal. Victim’s family speaks out Stephanie Bowles walked to the podium to address Warrick — the first time she’d ever spoken to her. Sean, age 10, leaned on his mother. Stephanie described Scott Bowles as a man many people knew, honored and respected. She talked about the life they’d had together that was terminated because of Warrick. She said Sean was so traumatized by his father’s death that he still goes to counseling every week. “I know for a fact every single light was on. You had plenty of time to slow down and move over,” she told Warrick. “It’s no excuse to say you’re from another state. What was so important you took your eyes off the road?” Stephanie vividly described the awful injuries her husband suffered — injuries that caused him to bleed out and die. One of Stephanie’s closing statements was very poignant. “I forgive you — for my salvation,” she said. After the hearing, Stephanie said didn’t like the fact that Warrick won’t have Scott’s death on her record if she successfully completes her probation, but she and Sean are both relieved the trial ordeal is over and they can get on with their lives. She anticipated Warrick would get probation, but she’s not happy with it and the laws in place, Stephanie said. She will fight to get the laws changed so the next person hit on the side of the road won’t have to go through this. “I was able to tell her (Warrick) exactly how I felt,” Stephanie said. “She sat there with no emotion, which angered me even more. …. I do not believe she thinks this was an event she could have helped. I feel that she has no remorse for the life that she took,” she said. She wants Warrick to vividly remember what happened when her vehicle hit Scott. “I want her to see his face every time she lays her head down and closes her eyes — what his face looked like when his face hit her windshield and his body was battered by her vehicle. I want her to feel that pain. We went through it every day,” Stephanie said. http://www.tdtnews.com/news/article_b19b2cc4-3461-11e9-af52-932ec89f6c43.html
  8. JACKSON, MI – A 37-year-old Jackson man woke up Friday morning stuck between a storage trailer and a building, unsure of how he got there after a night at the bar, police say. Rescue crews were called at about 9:20 a.m. Friday, Feb. 15, to the 600 block of E. Washington Avenue, where they found the trapped man, Jackson Police Lt. Adam Williams said. Arriving police officers and Jackson firefighters found the man wedged in a gap between an offloaded semitrailer being used as a storage container and a building it was pressed up against, Williams said. Both the man and the rescue crews were unable to determine how the man became stuck where he did, Williams said. The man told responders the last thing he remembered from the night before was getting kicked out of a bar and walking away in the dark, Williams said. The Summit Township Fire Department was called to assist with its heavy rescue equipment and a truck from Jimmie’s Towing was called to help pull the trailer away from the building to free the man, police said. The man was taken to Henry Ford Allegiance Health with minor injuries and possible hypothermia from being exposed to the cold for an unknown amount of time, police said. He is expected to make a full recovery, police said. The incident was listed as a suspicious situation, though no crime appeared to have been committed, Williams said. RESOURCE LINK
  9. BLACKMAN TWP., MI – A wayward cat looking for a spot to stay warm trapped herself inside a car engine on Valentine’s Day, but was rescued by a group of mechanics. A woman starting her car Thursday, Feb. 14, felt something was wrong and quickly turned the car off to see what it was, only to find a cat wedged deep in her car’s engine compartment, Jackson County Animal Shelter Director Lydia Sattler said. Not wanting to hurt the animal, the woman had a tow truck take her car to Art Moehn Chevrolet, 2200 Seymour Road, where the mechanics pushed it into a service bay and worked to free the cat, Sattler said. Chevy -- now the cat’s name because she trapped herself inside a Chevrolet Trax -- was handed over to the shelter once she was free, Sattler said. Chevy, a domestic longhair, was trapped close to the car’s serpentine belt. Cats that find their way inside an engine compartment rarely survive once the engine is started, the mechanics told the shelter. “Having the vehicle towed to the dealership saved (Chevy’s) life,” Sattler said. Chevy has injuries that will take time to heal, but she is expected to make a full recovery, Sattler said. Once she is feeling better, she will be available for adoption. That’s expected to take several weeks, Sattler said. The Jackson County Animal Shelter reminds residents to check under their vehicle hoods before driving during cold weather. RESOURCE LINK
  10. COLUSA COUNTY, Calif. (KCRA) — A California Highway Patrol officer was stabbed in the back Friday night by a driver who had been traveling over 100 mph on Interstate 5 with hazard lights on, authorities said. The driver, Haile Neil, 25, of Martinez, is facing attempted murder charges for allegedly stabbing the officer, who suffered non-life-threatening injuries, according to an incident report from the CHP's Williams office. The officer was flown to Enloe Medical Center in Chico, where he was later released. The officer had spotted the speeding vehicle around 10:30 p.m. along I-5, just south of Myers Road in the Williams area, according to CHP spokesperson Franco Castillo. The officer pulled the vehicle over and immediately suspected Neil was impaired, Castillo said. The officer then asked Neil to get out of her vehicle so he could perform field sobriety tests. Once she was outside, she "became belligerent, attempted to flee from the officer, and a struggle ensued," the CHP incident report says. "During the struggle, Neil pulled a concealed knife from her person and stabbed the officer in the back." A tow truck driver who happened to be driving by saw the incident taking place and helped the officer place Neil into custody, Castillo said. The CHP is asking any witnesses to contact the agency's Williams office at 530-473-2821. RESOURCE LINK with video Additional RESOURCE LINK with video
  11. TAMPA, Fla (WFLA) - Tow truck drivers gathered Sunday to honor one of their own with a message. "We've been getting killed left and right," tow truck driver Eduardo Acevedo told News Channel 8. "This is crazy, it's an epidemic." In Feb. 2016, Acevedo's coworker and friend Roger Perez-Borroto was traveling on the Howard Frankland Bridge when he noticed two other drivers in distress. He didn't have to stop that night, but he did and was killed while doing a good deed. Allison Huffman was convicted of hitting and killing the 43-year-old husband and father. Police said she left him on the bridge and went to Hard Rock Casino, where she gambled and drank for hours. She is now serving a 28-year prison sentence. "Just pay attention to your driving. It's not that hard. These people you're killing have families," a friend of Roger's told News Channel 8. In Florida, drivers are required to move over for stopped law enforcement, utility service vehicles and tow trucks. If you can't move over a lane, by law you must slow down to 20 miles below the posted speed limit. If you violate Florida's move over law, you could face a fine. RESOURCE LINK With Video
  12. SOUTH BEND — A tow truck driver suffered leg injuries and a St. Joseph County police officer suffered minor injuries amid two crashes late Sunday on the eastbound ramp of the U.S. 20 Bypass at Elm Road, WSBT-TV reported. The eastbound ramp was closed for a time after the crashes. The police officer suffered minor injuries to her shoulder, the TV station reported. The tow truck driver was struck by a vehicle while trying to help at the scene and may have suffered two broken legs, police told WSBT. RESOURCE LINK Another RESOURCE LINK with images
  13. BOONE COUNTY, Mo. - A semi-truck driver has minor injuries after he hit a tow truck and the semi-truck it was towing just after 6 a.m. Sunday on Interstate 70 in Boone County. According to Highway Patrol troopers, the tow truck and its tow were both stationary emergency vehicles. The driver of the other semi-truck, 65-year-old Teddy Daf, apparently failed to see both vehicles and hit them both. Daf was wearing a seat belt.
  14. A pair of central Alberta men are facing more than a dozen charges after allegedly driving a stolen tow truck. Mounties in Innisfail observed a stolen tow truck and used a deflation device to stop the vehicle in Red Deer. RCMP said the occupants in the vehicle fled on foot and then allegedly tried to steal another vehicle. The pair was apprehended by the Red Deer police dog services. Isaiah Noble, 20, of Red Deer, is facing charges of robbery (alleged attempted theft of the vehicle), possession of a weapon dangerous to the public, possession of stolen property and failure to comply with probation. Peter George Walker, 33, of Innisfail, is facing charges of robbery (alleged attempted theft of the vehicle), flight from police, possession of stolen property, possession of a controlled substance and failure to comply with recognizance, amongst others. Both have been remanded pending a bail hearing on Feb. 19. RESOURCE LINK
  15. The Executive Board for the Pennsylvania Towing Association met with the Pennsylvania State Police to discuss recent changes in the FR 6-6 application process. The PTA did not produce the new application and they did not take part in the any of the changes. FR 6-2 (PSP Meeting 2/4/19) Appendage B Application to Provide Emergency Towing Services FORM SP 6-151 Purpose: The most recent towing application by the Pennsylvania State Police (PSP) was the result of minor changes made in effort to protect the motoring public during the non-consensual towing process. PSP is requesting reasonable and customary fees from the towing industry.These fees will act as a baseline cost for specific care as throughout the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania to avoid potential consumer fraud. The driver of a vehicle involved in a collision or disablement still retains the right to call their own towing service, if the situation permits. This would eliminate the non-consensual towing process and allow the towing company to provide their own reasonable and customary charges.However, the requested service provider must be within a reasonable distance of the collision or disablement. The law enforcement officer has the right to make that determination based on time it would take to restore the highway. The addendum's previously submitted by many of the towing companies will no longer be permitted or accepted as part of the application process. The fees normally submitted in the addendum should be built into the hourly rates requested in the application. This current application does not allow for any fees other than those listed on the application.A tow company does have the right to withdraw their application or submit an updated application at any time.PSP is anticipating requesting updated applications from towers at least every two years. PSP considers these changes to the towing application to be minor.They are currently working on more significant changes.The PTA has requested to meet withPSPto discuss these changes before they are implemented. note: most grammar and spelling errors were corrected from source. RESOURCE LINK
  16. HOUSTON — A woman led police on a 40-mile chase in a stolen tow truck Wednesday night with someone's car attached to it. It started in Houston and ended in Conroe. The owner of the tow truck stopped at a gas station on Highway 288 and Reed Road. The woman jumped in and sped off. Authorities arrested her in a Montgomery County neighborhood. RESOURCE LINK With Video Woman arrested after jumping into tow truck and stealing it from gas station in south Houston HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- A woman was arrested after she was caught on video stealing a tow truck with a vehicle on it from a gas station. It happened around 7:30 p.m. at the Valero on Reed Road and SH-288 in south Houston. Authorities say a wrecker driver with National Roadside stopped to get gas and went inside the store to use the restroom. While he was gone, the woman, who was also inside the store, walked out, got in the truck and drove off. Surveillance video shows the tow truck driver later walk out of the store and discover his truck was gone. He called his boss, who notified police. The truck had GPS tracking on it. Around 9 p.m., Houston police told Montgomery County officials that the stolen truck was in their area on FM 1314 near SH 99. As units with DPS, Montgomery County Sheriff's Office and Precinct 4 constables tried to catch up with the truck, it turned into the Magnolia Bend subdivision off FM 1314 and stopped on Ponderosa Circle and Hickory. The woman was taken into custody, and the stolen tow truck was recovered. The wrecker driver was about to drop off a customer's vehicle when the truck was taken. The woman will be charged with unauthorized use of a motor vehicle. RESOURCE LINK With Video includes video of the moment the truck was stolen.
  17. No one was hurt when a tow truck was struck in Waseca County earlier this week. According to the Waseca County Sheriff's Office, a Bock's Service truck was on the side of the road assisting a driver when it was struck. The sheriff's office is asking drivers to "please slow down, especially when you see emergency responders and road crews." Waseca County Sheriff's Office This is what we are talking about folks! Please slow down, especially when you see emergency responders and road crews. Bock's Service is a key partner to law enforcement. This post of their tow truck being struck brings things much closer to home for many. Fortunately, no one was hurt or killed here, but we REALLY need people to pay attention so everyone can get to their destinations safely.
  18. Jennifer Landers, Executive Director, Community Assistance Center accepts $1,875 worth of gas cards donated by Amy Milstead, President of the Milstead Automotive Group as a result of their “Buy One, Gift One” holiday promotion. “It is easy for us to jump in our cars and go to work, but I am always amazed to discover how many families in our community struggle with finding the money to just put gas in their car,” said Amy Milstead, President of Milstead Automotive Group. “We teamed with Community Assistance Center again this year to help out, and with our customers’ and continuing community support, we were able to donate 75 gas cards. It’s clear that the need is all year, not just during the holidays!” “We are always thrilled to partner with Milstead Automotive,” noted Jennifer Landers, Executive Director, Community Assistance Center. “And we always appreciate how they continually give back to the community. It truly is a privilege to team with them. Gas cards are one of the staples that we need all year round as many people are struggling to get to work, and the extra money for gas is a blessing.” For more information about the Community Assistance Center please visit www.cac-mctx.org About Milstead Group Milstead Group owns Milstead Automotive, Milstead Transmission, Milstead Fleet Services, Milstead RV Repair, Milstead Towing and Milstead Collision. Milstead Automotive is a family-owned and operated, full service automotive & collision repair facility servicing the areas of Montgomery and Harris County. The company was founded in 1971 by Dick Milstead where he offered customers honest, quality auto repair from his 2-car garage. Since that time, the business has grown into a 29-bay facility where customers can be assured that Milstead’s updated technology fits todays smarter vehicles whether foreign or domestic, large or small. Milstead also has the largest fleet of towing and recovery vehicles in Montgomery County and has updated GPS dispatching 24 hours a day 7 days a week. Milstead Automotive offers a variety of Fleet services to keep those vehicles moving. The wide range of services span from Pick Up & Delivery, Computerized Fleet Management, and Scheduled Preventative Maintenance to Hydraulic Service/Repairs, Jump Starts Maintenance & Priority Scheduling Mechanical Repairs and 24-Hour Dispatch . . . and a whole lot more. If a truck is stuck on the side of the road, the Milstead Automotive Mobile Fleet Services department has ASE certified technicians ready and waiting for the call. The fleet of vehicles is equipped with Truck-Mounted Compressors, Generators, Welder, Jump Start Ports. Fully Functioning Vise, Oil Dispensing/Retrieval System, Power Inverter, Tire Repair/Replacement Tools, Latest Diagnostic Tools/Software, Pneumatic Air Tools, Traffic Control Lighting, Hydraulic Hoses that are Custom Made, Common Repair Parts Stocked, ASE Certified Technician/Advisors, and CDL Drivers. Dick Milstead’s legacy continues as his daughter, Amy Milstead, and youngest son, Rick Milstead, work diligently to keep “Milstead” in the forefront of the automotive industry. Amy Milstead's achievements includes Leadership Montgomery County 2003, Past Chairman of the Board for Texas Towing & Storing Association (TTSA); Vice Chair, Texas Department of License Regulations; Towing & Storage Advisory Board and served as Chairman of the Board for The Woodlands Area Chamber of Commerce for the 2013-2014 term. Milstead Automotive earned Best of the Woodlands, Best Car Repair 2018 and Best Collision Repair 2018 and is a member of ATRA. Milstead Automotive is also a Bosch Authorized Center and a AAA Approved Repair Facility with an A+ BBB rating. Milstead Automotive and Collision technicians are ASE and I-CAR certified and receive continued education to stay up to date with technology to ensure proper repairs. For more information visit www.milsteadautomotive.com or www.milsteadcollision.com RESOURCE LINK with images
  19. Posted 02.11.19 Dennis Carter said: Ironically this was this morning in Richmond as they were to discuss excluding amber lights from the Slow Down Move Over law.
  20. HASTINGS, Minn. (FOX 9) - A Dakota County sheriff's deputy was hit by a pickup truck while he was in his squad car assisting a tow truck Tuesday night. The deputy was dispatched to assist a tow truck driver near the interstection of 160th Street and Goodwin Avenue outside Hastings, Minnesota when his squad car was struck by an oncoming vehicle, according to the sheriff's office. The impact of the crash caused the squad car to spin and get hit a second time. Neither the deputy nor the driver of the pickup truck was injured. In light of the recent weather events, authorities are reminding drivers to slow down and move over when they see emergency vehicles. The Minnesota State Patrol said 10 of their squad cars have been hit since the beginning of February--five of those crashes had injuries. RESOURCE LINK with images
  21. Mini-van came loose from tow truck PORT HUENEME, Calif. - A Port Hueneme Police Officer is recovering after a mini-van pinned her underneath a vehicle during a traffic collision. Authorities blocked off a portion of North Ventura Road in Port Hueneme Sunday night just after 7 p.m. when a police officer became pinned underneath a mini-van. “She was shaken up about the incident,” said Port Hueneme Police Sergeant Eric Starna. Officer Gladys Rosete responded to a minor 3-car traffic collision earlier that night, but it quickly took a turn for the worse. Airport Towing arrived on scene to remove a mini-van that was involved in the crash. “During the process of the vehicle loaded onto the bed of the tow truck, the vehicle came loose and rolled back down on the bed,” said Starna. “It collided with another vehicle that had already been involved in the collision, and a portion of the vehicle pinned officer Rosete down on the ground.” “Tomorrow the high way patrol is sending out a tow truck inspector to assist with the investigation to see what actually happened last night,” said Starna. Police say that Officer Rosete was transported to St. John’s hospital were she was treated for injuries to her legs and right hip. She was released from the hospital late Sunday night. Officer Gladys Rosete was pinned by a mini-van that came loose from a tow truck while responding to a vehicle accident in Port Hueneme. (Port Hueneme Police Department) RESOURCE LINK
  22. DELTA, Colo. (KKCO/KJCT)-- Dozens of tow trucks and emergency vehicles lined up in Delta to honor Ryan Wells, a man killed in a snow-cat accident on the Grand Mesa. More than 30 tow trucks and emergency vehicles lined up in front of the Delta Performing Arts Center, to honor 30-year-old Ryan Wells, who died in a snow-cat accident on the Grand Mesa. Wells owned Ol' Red's Towing on F Road in Delta, for the past six years. Tow truck drivers and others in the tow businesses described Wells as someone who ran his business for the community, and understood what it meant to serve others. A tow truck carried him to his final resting place at the Delta Cemetery. "He was important here, and he had a business that took care of people here, and people understood that. That's one thing that makes it important is, what's your service for the community? And what do you do for the people you are around? Ryan was always out there doing it." said Randy Heisa, Tow Truck Driver for Western Towing. Randy drove down from Grand Junction to be there for the funeral while other tow companies made longer trips from towns such as Glenwood Springs and Norwood. RESOURCE LINK with video
  23. LEDUC TOWING & RECOVERY reported they had a driver struck Friday, February 8, 2019. Does anyone have further details of this incident?
  24. PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — They’re called chasers — local tow truck drivers who race each other to the scenes of accidents to get the tow. When they get there, it can sometime turn violent, like in early February, when police say one tow truck driver shot another who was wielding a baseball bat at the scene of a crash on Washington Boulevard. “What we’ve had historically is a wild, wild west. It’s been a free-for-all where when there are accidents on city streets, whoever gets there first and gets their business card in front of a crash victim was winning multi-hundreds of dollars of towing fees,” Dan Gilman, Mayor Bill Peduto’s chief of staff, said. The administration wants to put the brakes on the chasers once and all. Instead of having tow trucks racing in the street, the city would establish a half dozen districts and have a designated towing company for each one. “This isn’t trying to create a monopoly. It’s not trying to cut anyone out of business. We could have as many as six tow truck operator companies still doing business with the city,” Gilman said. Over the years, KDKA has done several stories on folks having their cars towed and not being able to locate them, only to be charged days later with exorbitant towing and storage fees in the thousands of dollars. Gilman says new city rules would address that too, limiting fees but allowing the companies to make a living without deceptive or dangerous practices. “We want to support our local businesses. We want to support entrepreneurs, but it needs to be done safely,” he said. This is a request to the towing companies to bid on one of six towing contracts. Each winner would be assigned a zone in the city that would be theirs alone; no other company could tow cars from accident scenes within that zone. The city believes that this would do away with the chasing once and for all. RESOURCE LINK with video UPDATED: Pittsburgh tow truck drivers doubtful about proposed city procedures Monday morning’s precipitation mix caused fender benders and crashes from the South Side to Squirrel Hill. Just after 7 a.m., emergency dispatchers could be heard over a police scanner radio discussing three cars that slid off Potomac Avenue in the city’s Banksville neighborhood. Tow truck drivers were certainly tuned in — just as they are beginning to dial in to a city plan that could dramatically change the way they do business in Pittsburgh. “There’s quite a few companies that are legitimate companies, and they listen to a police scanner,” said Jason Watkins, owner of Jay’s Towing in Brighton Heights. “We know all the streets in the city, we go to a wreck.” He said there are some “bad” operators in the business that are considered “chasers” because they hurry to accident scenes in hopes of hooking the resulting business. The city of Pittsburgh is now trying to stop so-called chaser tow truck drivers from racing to crash scenes, which public safety officials say “creates unsafe conditions” — a justification that comes just weeks after an incident in which one tow truck driver critically injured another after arguing at a crash site within city limits. The city announced Friday that it has launched a bidding process for towing companies to split coverage areas. But some in the towing industry are afraid the regulations will kill business. Mr. Watkins, who lives in Brighton Heights, said he heard about the city’s effort when another person in the industry gave him a call. “Is it going to push out the good ones or bad ones? I don't know. There’s not enough answers out there,” said Mr. Watkins, who said he’s looked at the city website and has called to ask questions. In an effort to stop the chasing, the city is seeking to designate one towing company to respond to car crash scenes in each of the city’s six police zones. Companies can bid on more than one zone. According to the city’s request for proposals, eligible towing companies must have at least three trucks on call that each have a gross vehicle weight rating of 17,500 pounds; be able to provide a flatbed that could haul two vehicles simultaneously; and have a facility that can store at least 10 vehicles within a two-mile radius of the city. Additionally, towing charges would be determined by the city’s towing ordinance, which now sets pickup fees for passenger cars, light trucks and motorcycles at $135. Mr. Watkins said his company operates five tow trucks, including flatbeds, and that he could store up to 11 vehicles inside his Brighton Heights garage, or as many as 40 on his outside property. He charges $395 for a tow from a crash scene. Mr. Watkins said that adjusting to a lower fee is “not going to be feasible” for his business when considering his operating costs of plates, insurance and maintenance. But according to Mayor Bill Peduto’s administration, “safety and customer protections” are paramount for those who find themselves in car crashes or disabled vehicles on city streets. “When numerous tow trucks hurry to the scene of a vehicle crash it creates several safety concerns,” Pittsburgh’s Public Safety Director Wendell Hissrich wrote in an emailed statement Monday. “First, they are competing to get to the scene and therefore often speed and break traffic laws to get there first, which creates unsafe conditions. Second, as many as six tow trucks can show up for a single-vehicle crash, which adds to traffic congestion,” Mr. Hissrich said that he’s been to crash scenes where tow truck drivers have gotten into arguments. “Police officers then have to act as mediators when they should be focused on assisting victims or directing traffic. It's not safe. From a public safety perspective, the time has come for action,” he continued. On Feb. 2 an argument between two tow truck drivers in Homewood led to a shooting that left one of them in critical condition, according to police. The incident on Washington Boulevard near Shetland Avenue occurred when multiple tow truck drivers responded to an accident and two of them got into an argument. One pulled a baseball bat from his truck, and another drew a gun and shot the first, according to police. This is not the first time the city has butted heads with the towing industry. Pittsburgh police have publicly complained in recent years about trouble between tow truck drivers. And in 2012, local towing business owner John F. Halbleib filed an injunction in federal court against the city after he claimed towing business was unfairly given to city contractor McGann and Chester. He settled the case with the city in 2013. Mr. Halbleib, who owns the Hazelwood-based businesses Halbleib Auto Body and D-Maxx Authomotive, said he plans to fight the city’s new plans. Among several issues he sees with regulations, he said, he disagrees with a provision in the city’s request for proposals that states that towing businesses affiliated with auto body shops cannot apply for one of the zones. Additionally, he said that splitting the service between the zones will hinder his business. “Sometimes there’s not even one wreck in your zone for two days,” he said. The city deadline for bid applications is March 8. RESOURCE LINK
  25. Man accused of opening fire on tow truck driver in Southwest Ranches SOUTHWEST RANCHES, FLA. (WSVN) - Police arrested a man accused of opening fire on a tow truck driver in Southwest Ranches. Juan Barquero is facing several charges, including attempted felony murder. The 57-year-old allegedly shot at a tow truck driver who was in the process of repossessing the suspect’s Mercedes-Benz, Thursday morning. Police said Barquero ordered the driver and another person to drop the car. When they refused, shots were fired into the truck. No injuries were reported. RESOURCE LINK with video
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