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  1. Like
    TowNews got a reaction from mushspeed in Bottle with towman's ashes on a journey!   
    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."
    No father info could be located at this time. if anyone has info that can be added to the memorial page please advise.
  2. Like
    TowNews got a reaction from Kat in Tow Truck Driver is a Dangerous Job   
    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!’”
  3. Like
    TowNews got a reaction from DennisHONK in HONK’s Raising Awareness for the Safety   
    HONK’s Raising Awareness for the Safety of Tow Truck Professionals & Emergency First Responders Nationwide
    Fifty percent of Americans have not heard of "Move Over" laws, every driver has a part to play in keeping first responders safe.
    Los Angeles, CA, August 15, 2019 --(PR.com)-- A roadside breakdown and being stranded on the side of the highway is every driver’s nightmare, but when it does happen tow truck professionals bravely come to their rescue. Unfortunately, a tow truck professional’s job can quickly turn deadly when drivers don’t follow safety laws or drive while distracted. HONK Technologies, an on-demand mobility and roadside assistance platform is doing its part to help raise awareness of nationwide "Move Over" laws in an effort to further protect the safety of tow truck professionals and other emergency first responders.

    "Move Over" laws vary by state, but in general, they specify when motorists see emergency vehicles stopped on the side of the highway, they should slow down, and when safe, move over to vacate the lane next to the stopped vehicle(s) to provide safe clearance to law enforcement, emergency first responders, and tow truck professionals. It is estimated that 50 percent of Americans are not aware of "Move Over" laws*. HONK wants to help change that. “Our Service Provider Network of tow truck professionals is our biggest asset and we want to do everything we can to keep them safe,” explains Corey Brundage, HONK’s Founder and CEO. HONK interacts with thousands of drivers on a daily basis through their roadside assistance app and if education to them about "Move Over" laws could save just one life, that would be a huge win for everyone.

    What is HONK doing to raise awareness? To educate drivers of the "Move Over" laws, HONK has implemented several social media campaigns, passed out thousands of "Move Over - Slow Down" bumper stickers and is sponsoring various events. HONK is exhibiting at several upcoming towing industry events, including American Towman Tow Expo in Dallas, Texas, August 15 - 18, Pacific Northwest Tow Show in Tacoma, Washington, August 23 - 24, and American Towman Exposition in Atlantic City, New Jersey, December 4 - 7, 2019.

    What is HONK doing to support tow truck professionals? HONK continues to make investments in their Service Provider Network of tow truck professionals with over 75,000 service vehicles nationwide. HONK is planning several more Partner Appreciation Roadshow Events to deliver education on industry and safety trends,business training, and help tow truck professionals identify what’s ahead, an industry-first. HONK’s goal is to create a digital, safer, smarter alternative to the multiple hour-long waits and insufficient options of the past, transforming the emergency roadside assistance experience for all.

    HONK’s additional efforts include optimizing and educating within their organization and recently hired industry-specialist Dennis McGowan, a WreckMaster Certified Level 4/5 technician, with over 15 years experience. His knowledge and experience as a second generation tow operator, heavy recovery specialist, and diesel mechanic has proven to be beneficial to the HONK team as well as its Service Provider Partner Network. McGowan understands the real-life challenges tow truck professionals face on a daily basis, helping HONK make quicker and more informed operational decisions and identify new ways to make the lives of Service Providers easier, which ultimately helps them grow their business.

    How is HONK changing the roadside assistance industry? Analysts are projecting the vehicle roadside assistance market share to reach $29 billion by 2026**. Today’s digitally connected drivers expect more than ever before. They expect immediate, responsive roadside assistance service, available in just a few clicks directly from their smartphones. They want memorable customer experiences similar to those like Amazon and Uber, ones that are efficient, reliable, and personalized. HONK is delivering on those expectations. Drivers no longer have to wait for several hours to receive roadside assistance, most service requests have a 15 to 30 minute estimated time of arrival. Just like the apps they value most, drivers receive service provider information, instant notifications, status updates, access to real-time tracking, and easy payment options, all of which result in amazing customer experiences.

    HONK is making a name for themselves with many insurance carriers too. Several have chosen HONK to manage and white label their own roadside assistance programs, one of their highest volume claims and customer touchpoints. Most insurance carrier clients state that HONK has helped them achieve on their brand promise resulting in double digit increases in their Net Promoter Scores (NPS) and positive impacts to customer retention and lifetime values.

    Drivers request roadside assistance at: https://www.honkforhelp.com/

    Tow truck professionals join the HONK Partner Network at: https://www.joinhonk.com/

    Insurance carriers can learn more about HONK at: https://www.honkforhelp.com/industry-solutions/

    About HONK Technologies
    HONK Technologies is an innovative on-demand mobility and roadside assistance platform, transforming customer experiences, one breakdown at a time. Through its platform-based ecosystem, HONK is powering next-generation roadside assistance for leading brands with cutting edge digital technology and transformational omnichannel customer-first, frictionless experiences.

    For more information, visit https://www.honkforhelp.com or contact media@honkforhelp.com

    *National poll by Mason Dixon Polling & Research, sponsored by the National Safety Commission
    **Vehicle Roadside Assistance Market By Global Industry Analysis, Market Size, Opportunities and Forecast, 2019 – 2026- Acumen Research and Consulting
    HONK Technologies
    Jackie Murphy
  4. Like
    TowNews got a reaction from mushspeed in Actor Danny Trejo Rescues Child   
    Villain on Screen, Hero in Life
    "Many a First Responder & Tow Truck Operator can relate the feeling"
    This recent interview gives some insight to the life of Danny Trejo.
  5. Like
    TowNews got a reaction from mushspeed in tow driver’s heroics may have saved a life "UPDATED" (NJ)   
    ‘Leg was severed completely — tow driver’s heroics may have saved a life
    A tow truck operator is being credited with saving the life of a man whose leg was severed in a crash on the New Jersey Turnpike on Tuesday.
    Alex Petruccio, 27, of Pennington, a driver for Treat's Garage in Windsor, was sent on a call for a disabled car in the southbound inner lanes near Exit 8A in South Brunswick and saw the car parked on the left shoulder — a spot he calls one of "the most dangerous places" to stop on the Turnpike because of its narrow shoulder.
    The occupants of the car, Jianjun Yin, 60, from Vienna, Virginia and his wife, who was driving, pulled over after hearing a plastic shield dragging along the road underneath and wanted to be taken to a Honda dealer for repair, according to Petruccio.
    The EMT and former lifeguard at the Quarry Swim Club in Hopewell said "things got really good before they got worse," as the left lane was clear of traffic when Petruccio went about his work trying to get the car loaded onto his truck. Petruccio said he took advantage of the break to get the couple into his truck.
    "I hear truck doors shut, I turn around and see the lady in the truck and I realize that the guy didn't follow her. He's standing on the line almost in the fast lane," Petruccio said. He stepped between Yin and the traffic which had begun to build again.
    Petruccio said there was a language issue and said the man stepped forward, possibly to shake his hand.
    That feeling of security was quickly broken when Petruccio heard a screech and a bang.
    "I look up and see a car maybe six cars back or so just swerve out violently into the shoulder and it's coming straight at us like a missile coming right at us," Petruccio said.
    As Petruccio jumped out of the way he yelled at Yin to move.
    "Behind me I hear 'boom!' It was like something out of a movie.There were pieces everywhere flying through the air and smoke and everything. And when I turned around I saw the guy and he was laying in the bed of my truck and his entire leg was severed off completely. I mean 100% it wasn't there," Petruccio said.
    Petruccio said in that split second he realized this was "real" and he had to do something.
    State Police spokesman Sgt. Alejandro Goez said that a Buick Century hit a Jeep Cherokee in the left lane, sending the Jeep onto the right shoulder, hitting the Honda and Yin.
    Petruccio said he ran over to Yin, who was a bit confused at what had happened and was trying to get up. He said he repositioned Yin so he wouldn't fall off the truck, then ran to the cab of his truck to have Yin's wife call 911 and to look for rags or something to stop the bleeding.
    The person who struck Yin came out of his car and was standing with his hands on his head in shock at what had happened. Petruccio said he yelled at him to take the belt off from his pants.
    "I ran and grabbed his belt from him, jumped on the back of the truck, wrapped the belt around what was left of the guy's leg and just pulled as much pressure as I could. By this time the woman had come out of the truck and she was understandably hysterical," Petruccio said.
    In his rush, he found a roll of paper towels and had Yin's wife put pressure on what was left of her husband's leg to stop the bleeding.
    "It was an amount of blood I've never seen in my life," Petruccio said.
    Petruccio called the Turnpike dispatcher and reported that the traffic was getting worse, as drivers were now rubbernecking and slowing down in heavy traffic to take a look.  Another also driver stopped to help.
    "You could see the look on his face was 'what did I just walk into,' but he snapped out right out of it, jumped right on the back of the truck, and me and him went to work trying to keep the bleeding under control," Petruccio said. He couldn't recall his exact words, but recalled the man said he was a retired or off-duty trooper.
    Several other people also stopped to help, including a man who said he was a retired EMT and had a medical bag. He handed gloves to everyone as they wrapped Yin's leg. Petruccio had Yin's wife talk to him to keep him alert.
    Petruccio was taken aback as the State Police trooper ran up and then ran away.
    "He ran up expecting that nothing had been started and realized we had it under control until medical got there, so he went back to clear traffic for the helicopter," Petruccio said.
    It was Petruccio's taking charge of the situation that earned him credit for saving Yin's life, according to State Police spokesman Lt. Ted Schafer. The troopers who responded to the scene all believe that had Petruccio not taken the action he did, Yin would have bled out.
    Adam Mackie, the manager of Treat's Garage in Windsor, said that Petruccio has worked for him for two years, and praised his driver for his quick action.
    "When things went bad, he thought very quickly," Mackie said, adding that everyone at Treat's is impressed with what he did and don't know what they would have done in the same situation.
    "He has a concern for everyone else in this world and tries to help everyone as he can," Mackie said.
    Petruccio credits his time riding with the Pennington First Aid squad with preventing him from freezing up, and recalling his training. He has since bought a medical bag for his truck.
    The incident also made him realize the importance of abiding by New Jersey's "Move Over Law" and the impact a distraction behind the wheel can have.
    "People don't realize that something as simple as moving over and slowing down can save somebody's life. This affected so many lives, even my family is horrified by this. And the guy's family too and what they have to deal with now is absolutely horrible just because somebody was, who knows, distracted for a little bit. People don't understand that something as ordinary as looking away can have an extraordinary consequence," Petruccio said.
    The reason the driver of the Buick lost control remained under investigation, according to Goez.

  6. Sad
    TowNews got a reaction from Lauren in Tow truck driver critically injured in hit-and-run on I-285 "UPDATED" (GA)   
    A tow truck driver was hit on I-285 when he stopped to help a stranded driver early Friday, Sandy Springs police said.
    The vehicle that hit the man, identified by police as 26-year-old Darrell Simpson of Marietta, reportedly did not stop and continued west on I-285. Simpson was rushed to a hospital, where he was in critical condition, Sandy Springs police Sgt. Sam Worsham said.
    The accident happened around 2 a.m. in the westbound lanes near Riverside Drive. Simpson pulled his tow truck behind a Mercedes-Benz SUV, which was stopped in the center lanes after hitting a center median, Worsham said.
    “When he exited his vehicle to check on the driver, he was struck by a passing vehicle,” Worsham said.
    The Sandy Springs traffic unit is still investigating. Anyone with information should contact police.
    Police search for driver who hit tow truck driver on I-285, kept going
    SANDY SPRINGS, Ga. (FOX 5 Atlanta) - Sandy Springs Police are searching for a driver who slammed into a tow truck driver on Interstate 285 and kept going. It happened near the Riverside Drive exit. Two weeks later, the tow truck driver was just released from the hospital.
    Darrell Simpson was heading home in his tow truck when he saw a driver who had lost control of her car and crashed.
    He was on the phone with 911 when he saw another car heading toward him.
    "I tried to jump out of the way and still got struck by the car. I remember car tires flying past my head," said Simpson.
    It was Simpson who then needed help. Another driver stopped to see what he could do.
    "He thought it was a deer in the road and he got out and realized it was a person, I was trying to get him to help me up and I realized both my legs were mangled," said Simpson.
    Simpson said both of his femurs and his tibia were broken and were replaced with titanium rods. He was in the hospital for two weeks. He just got out of the hospital and struggles to get around with a walker. The driver of the car that hit him is on the run.
    Simpson said he's not pushing for the driver to be arrested, but he does hope the driver comes forward.
    "I'd rather them come forward and their insurance can pay my medical bills so I can feed my family. I'm not worried about someone sitting in jail for this," said Simpson.
    Simpson said through pieces of the car that were found at the scene, and a side mirror that landed in Simpson's tow truck, investigators have determined the car that hit him is a newer model Toyota Rav 4.
    Anyone with information about the wreck should call Sandy Springs Police.
    RESOURCE LINK with video
  7. Like
    TowNews got a reaction from TowZone in Jillian Elizabeth Trgo - Born June 26 - 5lbs 11oz 19in   
    TowForce Congratulations to Jesse Trgo (Interstate Towing and Transport Specialists Inc.)




    @J TRGO
  8. Sad
    TowNews got a reaction from Kat in Riviera Tow Truck Operator Killed (TX) UPDATED   
    A 24-year-old man was killed Thursday afternoon in an accident in the parking lot of the Love's Truck Stop in Kingsville.
    According to a press release from the Kingsville Police Department, officers were called to the scene of an accident in the parking lot of the truck stop, located in the 1400 block of N. U.S. Hwy. 77, shortly after 3:30 p.m. Thursday.
      Upon arrival, officers learned that a Kingsville wrecker service was loading a 2015 Chevrolet pickup truck when a cable broke and the truck rolled down the ramp of the wrecker.
    The wrecker employee, identified as Daniel Semanko, 24, of Riviera, attempted to stop the truck from rolling but was injured as he was pinned between the truck and an 18-wheeler in the parking lot.
      Emergency personnel from the Kingsville Fire Department transported the man to Christus Spohn Hospital-Kleberg, where was pronounced dead an hour later.
    More information will be posted as it becomes available.
    A Riviera man was killed after he was pinned between two vehicles while trying to load a pickup truck onto a wrecker and the cable snapped.
    Cmdr. Bradley Lile, with the Kingsville Police Department, in a news release said police responded just after 3:30 p.m. to a major accident in the parking lot of a gas station in the 1400 block of N. U.S. Highway 77. A wrecker service had been in the process of loading a 2015 Chevrolet pickup truck onto a trailer when a cable broke and the vehicle began rolling down the ramp.
    One of the company's employees, identified as 24-year-old Daniel Semanko, ran to the pickup truck in an attempt to stop it from rolling, Lile said. Semanko wound up being pinned between an 18-wheeler and the pickup truck, he said, when the latter struck the tractor-trailer.
    Kingsville Fire Department emergency medical technicians arrived and transported Semanko to Christus Spohn Hospital Kleberg, the release states, but he was pronounced dead about an hour later.
  9. Like
    TowNews got a reaction from mushspeed in See how Coady's Wrecker removed an SUV from a pool in Middleton (MA)   
    06.11.19 - Middleton Fire Department posted on their FB Page:
    at approximately 1130 the RECC received calls for a car into the pool at 36 Village Road.Crews arrived to find an suv teetering on the edge of the pool.
    The two occupants had been helped out by bystanders and they were not injured. The vehicle ended up slipping all the way into the pool. Coadys’ wrecker was called to lift the vehicle out of the water. Crews stood by for the removal of the vehicle.The operators from Coadys’ did a great job and made the removal of the vehicle look easy . Luckily there were no injuries, but the pool will be closed for a while.


















  10. Thanks
    TowNews got a reaction from brian991219 in 10 days remain and only 380 Bills!   
    With only 10 days remaining, only 380 bills have gone through the entire process and are on the Governor’s desk.  The last time the Texas Legislature passed fewer was in the 1800s.  We filed several bills, but it was really a session that was weighted toward killing bills.
    This session, we tracked 80 bills that could have had an impact on the towing and storage industry.   Below are some of which we were actively involved.
    HB 61 by James White relating to the use of certain lighting equipment on escort flag vehicles.  While this bill was centered around escort flag vehicles and the lights they use during the course of their work the changes made to this bill will also allow for tow trucks to use amber and blue lights.  We worked with the Texas Municipal Police Association on this measure, and our member Geoff Nienstedt worked hard with local law enforcement officials to gain support in allowing tow truck drivers to use blue lights.  HB 61 was signed by the Governor on May 7th and will become law on September 1, 2019.
    HB 625 by Neave relating to notice and request for a hearing regarding a vehicle that has been towed or booted, would have allowed a person to submit a written request for a hearing concerning a towed car within 60 days of the date the vehicle was towed, excluding weekends and holidays, provided that the vehicle that had been released from the vehicle storage facility to which it was towed within 20 days.  We know what you are thinking.  That is extremely convoluted and doesn’t make much sense.  Southwest Tow Operators opposed this bill in committee and member, Tasha Moore, testified in opposition to the bill.
    HB 626 by Neave relating to notice of a person’s right to a hearing placed on a sign prohibiting unauthorized vehicles on a parking facility.  Southwest Tow Operators legislative team worked to oppose this bill.  The bill never received a hearing.
    HB 1140 by Tracy King relates to fees for vehicles stored at vehicle storage facilities; authorizing fee increases and decreases; eliminating a fee; eliminating a minimum fee.  Southwest Tow Operators was very supportive of this measure as it moved through the process.  HB 1140 would allow TDLR to adjust the storage fee for impounded vehicles.  This bill was passed out of the Senate Business and Commerce Committee today and will be heading to the full Senate for debate and final passage. 
    HB 2807 by Guillen relating to regulation and liability of certain vehicles on a highway.  Representative Guillen filed this bill on behalf of Southwest Tow Operators.  HB 2807 would have changed the penalties for move over violations.  This bill was heard in the House Licensing and Administration Committee but was faced by opposition in the Local Calendar Committee by some members.  Representative Guillen amended the language on one of his other bills, but that bill died in the Senate, unfortunately.
    The legislative session will conclude on Memorial Day, but our work does not end there.  We will set our agenda for the next 18 months so that we will be ready to fill bills in the next session. 
    Southwest Tow Operators will continue to work hard on your behalf in Austin. 
  11. Like
    TowNews got a reaction from Lightdutykid in This Poor Mid-Engined Chevrolet Corvette C8 Prototype Broke Down   
    Mid-engine Chevy Corvette C8 breaks down at a Michigan gas station
    Well this is awkward. After years of seeing the mighty mid-engine C8 Chevy Corvette in spy shots rumbling around Michigan and the Nürburgring, we now see it broken down at a gas station. According to the spy photographer, the sports car pulled into the gas station with no issues, but once the occupants were ready to leave, it refused to start. After close to a half hour of trying to start it, it was covered up and a tow truck called to have the 'Vette unceremoniously hauled back to HQ.

    Any breakdown of a prototype in public is unfortunate, but this is particularly rough for Chevy since reports have been coming out of development troubles. Most notably are electrical issues, which may have been the cause of this car's breakdown. There have also been reports of chassis flex on the high-horsepower models, though that may have been fixed already.

    We still expect the C8 to be revealed this summer. It will likely cost around $70,000 to start, and high horsepower models will probably break the $100,000 mark. Some sort of V8 will power it, though we're not sure if the base engine will be a pushrod engine or possibly a double-overhead cam engine. We also know that some kind of automatic, possibly a dual-clutch transmission, will at least be available, if not the only transmission.
    RESOURCE LINK w/video
  12. Sad
    TowNews got a reaction from JC ROADSIDE ASSIST in Fatal Accident Involving Roll Back 04.15.19 (PA)   

    Fatal crash reported in Schuylkill County
    A portion of Route 61 remains closed as investigators look into the cause of the three-vehicle crash.
    At least one person was killed Monday night in a crash in Schuylkill County just north of the Berks County line, according to officials.
      Crews were dispatched at 7 p.m. to the intersection of Route 61 (Centre Turnpike) and Route 895 (Summer Valley Road) in Molino for the report of a vehicle accident with entrapment.

      Initial reports indicated at least three vehicles were involved in the crash, including a flat-bed tow truck that came to a stop on the concrete median.
      Officials from the Schuylkill County coroner's office were dispatched to the crash. The southbound lanes of Route 61 were closed while the northbound lanes remained open.
      State troopers from the Schuylkill Haven station were at the scene investigating the crash.

  13. Sad
    TowNews got a reaction from JC ROADSIDE ASSIST in Tower Down 04.25.19 (MS)   
    JACKSON, Miss (WJTV) - According to Rankin County Coroner, 37-year-old Michael Buffington died in the accident.  
    One person is dead following a wreck on I-20 westbound just past the Highway 49 exit.
    Pearl police say a roll back wrecker and a car collided, the wrecker flipped over the edge onto the median of I-20. The other vehicle rolled upside down and rested on the rail of the flyover.
    Traffic is backed up. Anyone traveling west on I-20 through Jackson and into Rankin County is advised to use extreme caution.
    RESOURCE LINK with Video

  14. Sad
    TowNews got a reaction from Erin Coleman in Tower Down 04.25.19 (MS)   
    JACKSON, Miss (WJTV) - According to Rankin County Coroner, 37-year-old Michael Buffington died in the accident.  
    One person is dead following a wreck on I-20 westbound just past the Highway 49 exit.
    Pearl police say a roll back wrecker and a car collided, the wrecker flipped over the edge onto the median of I-20. The other vehicle rolled upside down and rested on the rail of the flyover.
    Traffic is backed up. Anyone traveling west on I-20 through Jackson and into Rankin County is advised to use extreme caution.
    RESOURCE LINK with Video

  15. Like
    TowNews got a reaction from TowZone in Joanne Blyton Billings, MT "Elected TRAA President"   
    Joanne Blyton of Billings Towing & Recovery, Montana, has been elected 2019 TRAA President. Joanne is the first woman to hold this position in 40 years. A long time member of Tow411 and now TowForce, member name "speedracer". Join us as we send our congratulations on a rise to the top, for a woman who truly earned it.

    TRAA "Towing & Recovery Association of America
     Tow411 - "Towing Information Network"
    Her Candidate Bio is available online at http://traaonline.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/02/Joanne-Blyton.pdf
  16. Like
    TowNews got a reaction from Kat in Joanne Blyton Billings, MT "Elected TRAA President"   
    Joanne Blyton of Billings Towing & Recovery, Montana, has been elected 2019 TRAA President. Joanne is the first woman to hold this position in 40 years. A long time member of Tow411 and now TowForce, member name "speedracer". Join us as we send our congratulations on a rise to the top, for a woman who truly earned it.

    TRAA "Towing & Recovery Association of America
     Tow411 - "Towing Information Network"
    Her Candidate Bio is available online at http://traaonline.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/02/Joanne-Blyton.pdf
  17. Like
    TowNews got a reaction from mushspeed in PRESS RELEASE: 2019 HALL OF FAME INDUCTEES   
    CHATTANOOGA, TN, April 3, 2019 — The International Towing and Recovery Hall of Fame and Museum today announced that it has completed the selection process for induction into the International Towing and Recovery Hall of Fame as the Class of 2019.
    John Coupland (Poole, Dorset, United Kingdom),
    Michael Cherry (Land O’Lakes, FL),
    Jamie Davis (Hope, British Columbia, Canada),
    George Kuntz (Bismarck, ND),
    Glenn Landau (Daytona Beach, FL),
    Quinn Piening (Fremont, CA),
    Perry Shusta (Antioch, CA)
    were nominated by members of the International Towing and Recovery Hall of Fame and Museum for their many contributions to the towing and recovery industry, their families and communities.
    “Our Hall of Fame is not about single events or simply participating but is instead about celebrating those who have worked hard to support and grow our industry’s professionalism,” said Bill Gratzianna, President of the International Towing and Recovery Hall of Fame and Museum.
    “This year’s group of inductees is no exception in their work on behalf of the industry and their leadership inside and outside of the industry.”
    The Class of 2019, will be inducted into the Hall of Fame, in a ceremony to be held at 6pm on October 12th, 2019 at the Chattanoogan Hotel in Chattanooga, TN. A full weekend of activities will be held to celebrate this year’s inductees. For more information on the induction ceremony, or to order tickets, contact the museum at 423-267-3132 or visit them on the internet at towingmuseum.com.

    About ITRHFM
    The International Towing and Recovery Hall of Fame and Museum, located in Chattanooga, TN, houses an array of displays and exhibits showcasing the history of towing and recovery. The rotating collection includes early equipment by Manley, Holmes, Vulcan, and Weaver. The Hall of Fame honors individuals who have significantly advanced the industry. The Museum includes a theater, a library, and a gift shop selling souvenirs related to the towing industry. On the outside grounds is the Wall of the Fallen memorial, dedicated to towers who died in the line of service. The ITRHFM Survivor Fund assists the families of the men and women that have made the ultimate sacrifice in the line of service by providing a uniform financial gift at the time of their loss. ITRHFM is a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization and accepts donations for its programs and operations from individuals, corporations and groups.
    Learn more at www.towingmuseum.com.
    Congratulations to the 2019 Hall of Fame Class!
  18. Like
  19. Like
    TowNews got a reaction from Kat in I.T.R.H.F.M. Chamber Business of the Month (TN)   
    International Towing and Recovery Museum and Hall of Fame in Chattanooga
    received honor and recognition 03.14.19.

  20. Like
    TowNews got a reaction from mushspeed in City Plans To Rein In Racing Tow Truck Drivers (PA)   
    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
    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.

  21. Like
    TowNews got a reaction from someotherplace in Davie tow truck driver shot at while repossessing car (FL)   
    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
  22. Thanks
    TowNews got a reaction from brian991219 in Crucial Legal Battle could effect entire industry!   
    As Reported by Statewide Towing Association E-News on January 28, 2019:
    A pivotal liability towing case, Northern New England AAA v. Statewide Towing, Inc. et al. (a Maine towing company), is before the Maine Supreme Judicial Court, Maine’s highest court. The case will decide the issue of whether insurance companies should be responsible for paying for the clean-up, recovery, towing, and storage of a vehicle after an accident. If the case is successful would change the law of liability tows in Maine and require insurance companies to pay for liability tows i.e. under the liability portion of an insured's auto policy. 
    This case has been tried twice before two lower courts. The Small Claims Court found that the insurance company was responsible for the clean-up, recovery, towing and storage of the vehicle. Northern New England AAA appealed. The Superior Court found the insurance company responsible for the clean-up, recovery, and towing; the storage was the owner’s responsibility. Again, Northern New England AAA appealed.     
    The case is now before the Maine Supreme Judicial Court, Maine’s highest court. The argument is: The insurance company is responsible for everything after an accident: the clean-up, recovery, towing and storage of the vehicle. A win means the insurance companies in Maine will be responsible to pay for liability tows. The outcome of this case will change the law of liability tows in the State of Maine. Additionally, a successful outcome in this case will be a catalyst for change in other states. 
    Preparing and arguing a case before a state Supreme Court is extremely costly. The outcome of this case will benefit the entire towing industry not just those in Maine. A successful outcome in this case will be useful argument with insurance companies in any state to get liability tows paid. 
    Please consider making a donation to support this important cause. 
    The Board of Directors of STA voted for STA to donate $2,000, TRAA donated $5,000 and ESTRA has pledged $1,000 towards the legal fees incurred for arguing this case before the Maine Supreme Court. Your donations are needed as well and will help to continue the fight. This case is taking the insurance industry, head-on. 
    To pledge on line, CLICK HERE.
    Or if you wish to mail a check, make the check payable to:         
    Bergen & Parkinson, LLC
    Attn: William J. Gallitto, III, Esq.
    144 Main Street
    Saco, Maine 04072
    In the memo line of the check write: Statewide Towing v. AAA Appeal
  23. Thanks
    TowNews got a reaction from brian991219 in 2 men deliver free meals to local TSA agents (MI)   
    Local TSA agents impacted by the government shutdown received a free meal from two generous men.
    Bill Giorgis, owner of Mike’s Wrecker, and his friend Tom Roy partnered up to deliver breakfast and lunch for all members of the TSA at MBS International Airport in Saginaw.
      After seeing how workers were being affected by the shutdown, they wanted to thank them for doing their job despite not being paid.
    The pair reached out to the community asking for food donations.
      “People are donating and wanting to help out because they understand the situation. A lot of people don’t realize you gotta buy the essentials,” Roy said.
    “It’s helping the citizens in our community and that’s the most important part,” Giorgis said.
    They hope their kind acts will inspire people across the country to help out any workers affected by the government shutdown.

    Thomas Roy, Saginaw Republican Party said:
    want to thank a few people that reached out to me, to help our hard working, non-paid TSA workers at our airport. You may not realize, but these employees are very professional and courteous. The only BAD thing about our TSA employees, is they are not getting paid! Last paycheck was December 21st. Could you imagine paying for gas, electricity, rent, car insurance, food, or your basic needs, like toilet paper, toothpaste, things we really never think of, but need, and NOT HAVING A PAYCHECK!! Most people can't! If you can help, a gift card, lunch, breakfast, anything can help! They cannot take cash, or visa cards. William Giorgis of Mike's wrecker went all out today at Sams Club. If you, or you know of someone that would like to help, please let me know, and I can give you the TSA supervisors number. Bill is a great guy, and helps do things around "OUR" community, I thank Bill, and as you can see TSA did today too!
    William Giorgis said:
    Supporting our local TSA agents as they continue to provides for our security while unpaid by our government. If you’re able to reach out to your local airport you can check and see if you might be able to bring them lunch, dinner or snacks for the agents who are continuing to work without a paycheck. It’s a small thing that we can do to support our TSA our Airport security at MBS international airport.
  24. Thanks
    TowNews got a reaction from brian991219 in Re: Sad News - Tow Operator Fatality New Mexico   
    Tow truck driver killed, officer injured in I-40 crash
    ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – The latest winter wallop has claimed an innocent man's life.
    “The tow truck driver was just being a good Samaritan,” Officer Dusty Francisco with New Mexico State Police said. 
    Seven vehicles, including four semis, were involved in a chain reaction crash around one this morning.
    Chopper 4 flew over the scene that spread out over several miles on I-40 East, shutting down traffic for hours.
    “Due to the weather and road conditions, I mean you're driving on black ice, so it makes it harder to stop,” Officer Francisco said. 
    State Police said an officer responded to a crash and was rear-ended by a semi.
    “A tow truck driver from Madrid Towing, stopped to assist the state police officer, and when it did, another commercial motor vehicle approached the scene and struck the tow truck…tow truck driver, along with the State Police vehicle a second time,” Officer Francisco said. 
    State police said 50-year-old Pat Cisneros of Albuquerque died at the scene. The officer suffered minor injuries and is expected to be ok. 
    “I mean with the inclement weather and road conditions, we put out stuff on social media to drivers to slow down, be careful and for something like that to happen, it’s, it’s unfortunate,” Officer Francisco said. 
    No other injuries were reported. Police continue to investigate the crash and whether speed was a factor.
    KOB reached out to Madrid towing. The company’s owner, Gerald Madrid, provided us this statement on the loss of their valued employee and friend.
    "Pat was my lead tow driver here at Madrid. His passion was driving tow trucks. He died doing what he loved. In addition, trying to help someone else, in the process, lost his life. Pat will be missed,” Madrid said.
    RESOURCE LINK with video
  25. Thanks
    TowNews got a reaction from Kat in Bambrager Tow Truck Operator receives medal in Baltimore   
    Bambarger tow truck operator receives medal for heroism after rescuing baby from burning car.
    André Harris gave God all of the credit when he rescued a baby from a burning car back in July, it was Harris who was recognized on the national stage this weekend for his incredible act of heroism. When he was awarded the American Towman Medal in a ceremony at the Baltimore Tow Show.
    Bambarger noted that the prestigious medal honors “some of the most amazing acts in the annals of human rescue.”
    The company’s post added, “Indiana Jones and Superman have nothing on the American Towman. The Medal Ceremony has evolved over the years into the March of the Heroes.”
    From André Harris Sr. FB page:
    Thanx to everyone who sent nice words and well wishes. It really means a lot to me to have complete strangers say such kind words to me for an act that God put me in place for. That's why GOD gets all of the glory. It's also a blessing to have a beautifully crafted, God-fearing, loving and praying wife, Rachael M. Harris, to remind me on a daily basis to make my best better. I also want to thank Heath Bambarger, Adam Bambarger, Lori Cunningham Miles for giving me the opportunity to be in a wrecker, for it's truly a rewarding feeling to know that you've helped someone get to safety with almost every call. Thanks to everyone at Bambarger Wrecker Services because I've learned so much from you all and I continue to learn from you guys on a daily basis. A special thanks goes out to Billy Green for the support with his many skills and knowledge of the tech world and much more. And the biggest thank you goes to my parents, Abe Harris & Loretta Harris for always teaching my siblings and I to always work hard and pray even harder, always help when u see that you can and sometimes even when you don't think you can and have faith knowing that God's plan is bigger than you know. To my sisters, brothers and my bro-cuz THANKS for keeping me on my toes and for always being there for me!
    To God be the glory.
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