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Man dies after climbing onto, falling off car being towed in New City (IL)


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A man died Wednesday from injuries he suffered during a strange towing incident earlier that day.


Darryl Sanford, 50, was in the 5000 block of South Halsted Street in the New City neighborhood on the South Side. He saw an unknown tow truck attempting to take possession of a Kia car, Chicago police said.


Sanford climbed on top of the car, but the truck began to tow it away despite his presence, police said. The motion caused him to fall onto the street.


He was taken to Saint Bernard Hospital, where officers spoke to him around 2:37 p.m. Wednesday about the incident, police said.


Hours later, Sanford died from multiple injuries suffered during the incident, according to the Cook County medical examiner’s office. His death was ruled accidental.


Police have not identified the owner of the Kia. The incident is being investigated.



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I agree; although there are plenty of fatal scenarios (like this one) where vehicle owners will do anything and everything to keep their cars from being repo'ed or impounded from provate property. Accordingly,in most states, towers have a legal responsibility to, "Stop", removal activity when the vehicle is still on-property and the owner or person in-control of the vehcile are attempting to stop the vehicle from being towed. In the case of, "predatory towing", there's a real thin-line in saying that the vehicle was in-possession of the tow operator and speeding-up or driving-away from someone chasing after the tow truck is the chaser's fault.


I've included a link to a January 2013, high-profile news account, of a South Florida, business school dean, who allegedly was attempting to chase down a tow truck and his towed vehicle. The dean fell off the towed vehicle and was run over and killed. One would think it as common sense to NOT jump onto a moving vehicle, even this well-educated individual lost his life in the same kind of situation. Is common sense over-whelmed in a moment of adversity?


Link:    https://www.nbcmiami.com/news/local/elias-konwufine-dean-of-keiser-university-business-school-killed-by-towed-car/2039667/


In another news report regarding the 2013's South Florida case, the victim's friend said, “The reckless habits of the tow truck is something that should not be tolerated.”  To that, I believe each case has to be judged on its own merits and bears the question,"As a tow operator, how would you handle the same scenario, especially if law requires being off-property to be in lawful possession of the tow?" Do you speed-up or come to an immediate stop the moment the subject challenges you?  Owners, what do you instruct your drivers to do? This is one of those topics that tow company management must pass down to each tow operator as it regards the company's vicarious liability and the extreme risk involved when doing repo's and PPIs.                R.



Randall C. Resch

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