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Tower Down - 07.08.20 (OK) "Updated 05.02.23"


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Tow Operator Killed - Oklahoma:



Having talked with a tow company contact in Oklahoma, I've learned that a tow operator was struck and killed near the small town of Fletcher Oklahoma on Wednesday July 8th, 2020. A news report identified the tow operator as 41-year-old Bernardo Martinez, of Sergio's Towing in Oklahoma City.


Details reported that Mr. Martinez was loading a pickup onto his carrier when a female motorist came onto the shoulder and struck Mr. Martinez, and continued up the carrier's ramp, back onto the roadway, into a barrier and then out of control over the embankment. At impact, Mr. Martinez was thrown into a ditch off the shoulder and died on-scene.


Christine and I send our prayers to the Martinez Family as well as Sergio's Towing.


There are little details to report. Here's a news link.



A GoFunMe account has been set-up 

Link:   https://www.gofundme.com/f/in-loving-memory-of-bernardo-martinez


Randall C. Resch

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UPDATE: OHP releases info on deadly I-44 crash, identifies victims


FLETCHER, Okla. (TNN) - Oklahoma Highway Patrol responded to a fatal incident Wednesday afternoon.


The crash happened around noon on I-44, one mile east of Fletcher.


In their report, OHP said that a pickup truck was being loaded onto a wrecker.


Bernando Martinez, of Oklahoma City was standing alongside the pick up truck when a car hit him, sending him an unknown distance.


OHP said that Martinez died at the scene due to the massive extent of his injuries.


He was transported back to Oklahoma City.


After striking Martinez, the car, driven by Karen Cole, from New Mexico, continued partially onto the wreckers rollback bed.



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Tow truck driver killed on the job remembered by colleagues




OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – A tow truck driver was hit and killed while on the job near the town of Fletcher on Wednesday.
Bernardo Martinez worked at Sergio’s Towing Service since October.
“This guy was a solid, just genuine, great, honest guy, and a good worker,” colleague Cody Ceballos said.
He says they were trying to reach Martinez on Wednesday when they noticed his truck wasn’t moving on the company’s GPS tracker.

“We kept calling him, kept calling him, kept calling him, just no answer,” Ceballos said. “We’re watching the GPS, we’re glued to the GPS tracker.”

Unfortunately, their worst fear came true when police confirmed Martinez had been hit and killed.

Nick Ragsdale with Ragsdale Wrecker Service, who’s also a spokesperson for the ‘Slow Down and Move Over’ campaign, says tow truck drivers are a tight-knit community.

“It keeps in the back of your mind, but when it hits home close like this, it’s pretty rough,” he said. “At the end of the day, we’re all trying to make it home to our families, and try to make a little bit of a living while we’re at it.”
Both Ragsdale and Ceballos are reminding drivers to slow down and move over for anyone stopped on the side of a road.

“We lost a really good driver there because of a senseless reason. Wasn’t even busy part of the highway,” Ceballos said.

Martinez leaves behind a wife, four children and two grandchildren.
“He had such a big heart,” Wife remembers tow truck driver killed on the job


OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – The wife of a tow truck driver killed on the job remembers him as someone who would go out of his way to help people.   


Bernardo Martinez tragically died while working near Fletcher last Wednesday.


A driver hit Martinez as he was loading a truck onto his wrecker, throwing him into a ditch.  


“It’s was the most horrible thing we could’ve ever experienced,” Mayra Martinez, Bernardo’s wife, said. “We keep expecting him to come home, and we keep checking the front door, just waiting for it to open and him to come through and he doesn’t. It’s just becoming more and more real.”  


She says her husband was someone you’d want to know.  


“Anytime you would ever need something, he would be there, with an encouraging word, or just to listen to you, help you out, help you fix your car, help you fix your house, just anything, because that was just part of him,” she said.  


Bernardo leaves behind four children and two grandchildren.


Family and faith were two things important to him.  


“He wanted to give his kids the world,” Mayra said.  


He also had a love for his job. He’d worked at Sergio’s Towing Service since October.   


“He was very proud about being a tow truck driver, because he would go out there and help people and that was just part of him, that he had such a big heart,” Mayra said. “He would stop by when he was driving and he’d give food to the homeless, he’d give money to them, he’d help give people rides if he saw someone walking in the rain.”


She says she hopes the tragedy serves as a reminder for drivers to slow down and move over for tow truck drivers. 


“When we have a flat tire or our car stalls on the side of the road, they’re the ones that are risking their lives out there to help us, to help everything,” she said.


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RIP Operator Martinez. Prayers for strength for the the family, friends, coworkers and company.


It would probably be deemed an invasion of privacy, but it would be interesting if big tech could release data showing whether or not drivers were on the phone prior to these incidents, and if so, what they were doing on their phone. There seems to be a correlation between the numbers of roadside workers getting struck and peoples’ addiction to their smartphones. Imagine if this data was accessible by LEO and the driver was found to be browsing Instagram or watching YouTube prior to the incident. It sounds crazy, but I’ve seen it. I’m not sure how to implement it in a way that would separate drivers from passengers, but I think all apps should be blocked when driving a vehicle. The only exception would be map/GPS apps. Phone and text would also be available, but only when connected via Bluetooth to the car or a headset so as to allow hands free, and more importantly EYEBALL free operation. That way you could talk/text via voice, and there would be no reason to be staring down at your phone. Siri and Google Assistant allow us to do this, and I feel it’s time we use them to save lives. Not just roadside workers, but every fatality that was due to distracted driving. It’s obvious the honor system isn’t working. Big tech created the problem of distracted driving, I feel it’s time they fix it.


Now, I am not saying this particular driver was on the phone prior to striking Martinez, but there does seem to be some correlation between roadside workers getting struck and people’s complete inability to go more than 5 minutes without checking their phone.

Edited by ETOW
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People just don't pay attention on the roads.  They are always speeding or on there phones, and don't slow down or move over. This is so sad and I pray for the Martinez family, his co-works and his friends.  

Contact: Doreen Aragona - Integrated Leasing - Office: 800-551-4854 Ext 20

Email: Doreen@integratedleasing.com  Cell 516-852-5740



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  • 9 months later...

Move Over Law Expected To Get Name Change After Bill Passed

OKLAHOMA CITY - Oklahoma law requires drivers to move over when approaching an authorized vehicle on the side of the road, but that law could be getting a name change.


Bernardo Martinez was a tow truck driver servicing his truck when a driver veered off the road and hit him. Both of his legs and an arm were amputated.


He died sometime later, and his family has taken on the cause of telling Oklahoma drivers to slow down and move over.


House Bill 1584 passed in the house and senate, and now Bernardo's family is one step closer to getting the recognition they have been asking for more than a year since Bernardo’s death.



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  • 1 year later...
  • 8 months later...


Justice for Bernardo Martinez "FB Group" - Trigger Warning:




We're asking for prayers from everyone. We found out on Wednesday afternoon that the District Attorney of Comanche County Kyle Cabelka "Declined to press charges".


We have been calling them since Wednesday asking for answers as to why. Why this woman Karen M. Cole can be under the influence, hit a man with her car and be free to live her life and see her family everyday? She struck him so violently that his life ended there on the side of the road like roadkill.


Yes roadkill, because that's how they are treating him, so unimportant as roadkill. How is it possible to continue to make Bernardo Martinez's family suffer not only the loss of their family member, but to make them suffer this injustice?


We're going to go speak with the District Attorney. We hope we have some answers soon. Thank you for the prayers and support as always stay safe

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  • TowForce changed the title to Tower Down - 07.08.20 (OK) "Updated 04.03.23"
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  • 4 weeks later...

Family presses for answers after DA declines charges for driver who hit, killed tow truck driver on the job




OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – The family of Bernardo Martinez is still desperately searching for answers nearly three years after the tow truck driver was hit and killed along Interstate 44 on the H.E. Bailey Turnpike.


On July 8, 2020, Bernardo Martinez was loading a truck onto a wrecker one mile east of Fletcher when he was hit by another vehicle and thrown into a ditch, according to the Oklahoma Highway Patrol.


“He had such a big heart,” Wife remembers tow truck driver killed on the job


Martinez died at the scene of the crash, leaving behind a wife, four children and two grandchildren.


“His body was destroyed [in the crash], he was torn apart and [he] died alone on the side of the road,” said his wife, Mayra Martinez.


In a recent interview with KFOR, the family said they continued to press the Comanche County District’s Attorney for answers and updates after the crash but were shocked to learn the case was closed before any charges filed.


“The district attorney from Comanche County had declined to press any charges on the woman that killed him; she’s free, not even a ticket,” said Martinez.


“The [District Attorney’s office] told us that there’s no money [to] do any more investigations and if we found any more evidence we could take it to [them] and [they] would reopen the case. But we have to do the work,” she continued.



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  • TowForce changed the title to Tower Down - 07.08.20 (OK) "Updated 04.29.23"
  • TowForce changed the title to Tower Down - 07.08.20 (OK) "Updated 05.02.23"
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