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Tower Down - 03.09.21 (NV) "UPDATED 03.09.23"

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NHP: Tow truck driver killed in hit-and-run crash at 215, Decatur in south valley (NV)




Ryan Bilotte with Quality Towing, Las Vegas Nevada lost his life in the line of duty!



LAS VEGAS (FOX5) -- Nevada Highway Patrol said a pedestrian was killed in a crash on the southern 215 Beltway at Decatur Boulevard on Tuesday night.


NHP said a tow truck driver for Quality Towing was hit while he was working in the westbound shoulder of the highway about 7:47 p.m. on March 9.


The tow truck driver was taken to University Medical Center where he was pronounced dead. 


The vehicle that hit him sped off, NHP said. It was described as a white Ford box van with right front damage, according to witnesses. Anyone with information was asked to contact NHP.


The man's identity will be released after next of kin has been notified.








Tow truck driver killed in hit-and-run identified



NHP: 1 arrested in connection to hit-and-run crash that killed tow truck driver

EXCLUSIVE: Suspect arrested, damaged van in deadly hit and run located in southwest Las Vegas



LAS VEGAS (KTNV) — Nevada Highway Patrol says one person has been arrested in connection to a deadly hit-and-run crash on the 215 Southern Beltway Tuesday night.


NHP says a tow truck driver, later identified by the Clark County coroner as 48-year-old Ryan Matthew Billotte from Las Vegas, was working on the shoulder of the 215 near Jones Boulevard when he was hit by a vehicle.


The vehicle did not stay at the scene.


Billotte died from injuries sustained in the crash, authorities say.


After the crash, other tow truck drivers from around the valley lined up in his honor.




Son of woman accused in hit-and-run death of tow truck driver speaks out


LV Move Over Tow Truck Escort 3/8/2021


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Rest easy Operator Billote. My thought and prayers are with the family and friends of this Lost Operator.

On another note, Many thanks to the police agencies who tracked down and arrested the scumbag that MURDERED this man. 

My hope is she never sees the light of day again. 

Edited by GRUMPS The Towman


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So grateful for the law enforcement that tracked down this slayer of one of our Highway Heroes! I pray for his family and friends for his tragic death.

I have been in the towing industry for over 25 years. I am originally from the Austin, TX market, but am now in the Houston, TX market. 

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Our Heart Felt Condolences to the Family and Friends. Children growing up without a father and grandfather because of someone careless driving. Hope they put her away for a very long time and she is forced to have a picture of the man she murdered in front of her every day. I have no sympathy for what ever the sentence is, only hope that it fits the crime of Hit & Run causing death with failure to render aid. UnThinkAble! 

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LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — The woman accused in a crash that killed a tow truck driver last week filed a hit-and-run report with the Nevada Highway Patrol a day later.


Colette Despain, 51, later told troopers she didn’t know a man had died — she said the tow truck pulled into her lane as she was passing it and then sped away, according to an arrest report. She was reporting that the truck knocked off her side mirror.


Despain, 51, faces multiple charges in the March 9 crash that killed Ryan Matthew Billotte, 48.


“As I went to pass him he suddenly pulled out and right into my front right fender,” Despain wrote in a report filed at 2 p.m. the next day at NHP’s Southern Command headquarters.


“I recovered and pulled off of next exit to exchange info and saw in my rearview he pulled off into traffic and got into far left lane and sped off. I was not able to get name of tow company as it all happened so fast and was dark,” Despain wrote.


When troopers learned of the report, they called Despain and asked her about details of the crash. After they spoke, she emailed photos of the damage to her 2015 Ford Transit van.


She said the tow truck was on the right side of the road with flashing lights, and even correctly identified the color of the car that was being towed as silver.


When NHP troopers went to Despain’s house, they found heavy damage to the front right of the vehicle, and matched yellow paint on the vehicle to the bright yellow safety vest and pants worn by Billote.


Despain was due in court Tuesday, but did not appear because of a medical issue. She is due back at that end of the month.


Charges against Despain include failure to stop at the scene of a crash involving death, a felony. She also faces a felony charge of violation of probation, and two misdemeanors for failing to maintain a lane and failure to move to the left while passing an authorized emergency vehicle.


The crash occurred around 7:47 p.m. on Tuesday. NHP Trooper Travis Smacka said the suspect vehicle was traveling westbound on I-215 approaching Jones. The vehicle drifted into the right shoulder, striking both the tow truck driver and his vehicle.




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  • 2 weeks later...

I replied to this article earlier, but had another thought. We work on I-10 in Arizona, and very few people follow the "move over law" here. I have had them come so close to me the ripped the bandana right out of my pocket. I have installed hidden red and blue flashing lights under my bed. NOW THEY MOVE OVER. Legal? I don't know! But I do know that other drivers do move over now !! Give me a ticket for the red & blues, better than having this old 83 yr old killed that I do know !!!

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Our Condolences to the family, friends and coworkers. Make it ever harder when the drag out the judgement. Even worse when it doesn't fit the crime. This should be 20 to 25 years with no parole. She Killed a Tow Truck Operator then left the scene. In many countries you would not be breathing fresh air and we wonder crime is what it is...

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Family of tow truck driver killed on highway reminds drivers to slow down, move over



Family and friends of 48-year-old Ryan Billotte gathered for a candlelight vigil on Friday evening to remember the tow truck driver killed in the line of duty.

Billotte was assisting a stranded motorist on the 215 near Decatur in early March when a driver identified as 51-year-old Colette Despain allegedly hit him and kept going.


Billotte died at the hospital and the Nevada Highway Patrol later arrested Despain and she's facing several felony charges.


"He was just super and I miss him, he was supposed to be at home with me and he's not because people aren't paying attention," said Ryan’s wife Becca Billotte

Bilotte's family is still trying to come to terms with his death they're also raising awareness and urging drivers to remember the slowdown and move over law so no other family has to feel the pain that they now know. 


"They need to be aware of how dangerous their job is and when they see emergency vehicle they need to move over, they need to merge they need to slow down because lives are at stake," daughter Paige said. 


News Video Found in this link is different from the one added below:




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Attorney for accused hit-and-run driver: 'Emotions fueling prosecution's case'


It’s the moments after the fatal crash on the 215 Beltway in March, and what Colette Despain did then and in the hours that followed, that were the focus of her preliminary hearing. 


Prosecutors are trying to prove to a judge the death of Ryan Billotte was a crime, while Despain’s defense argues it was just an accident.

But what did happen and what does state law say needs to happen?


In early March, Billotte was helping a motorist on the 215. He was outside his tow truck when police say Colette Despain hit him with her white van. 


Billotte died at the hospital.


Despain's defense says she reported the collision to Nevada Highway Patrol the next afternoon, and their headquarters was closed when the crash happened. 


State law says a driver must stay on the scene or return to the scene of a crash to give aid and report the crash.


The death of Billotte was met by vigils and community grief; those emotions, the defense says, is what is driving the prosecution's case.

Despain is back in court on April 15th at 8 a.m.


News Link Not Available

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  • 10 months later...
  • 11 months later...

Candlelight vigil to honor 2 year anniversary of killed tow truck driver


LAS VEGAS (KSNV) — The Las Vegas community is gathering tonight to remember a tow truck driver who was tragically killed 2 years ago.


Ryan Billotte was working on the shoulder of the westbound 215 Beltway near Decatur Blvd when a vehicle struck him and drove off.


The suspect was identified as 51-year-old woman Colette Despain who was sentenced to 8 - 20 years behind bars.


Billotte's family is remembering his death at the exact time of the crash, March 9 at 7:47 p.m. inside the NHP Office Building.


His wife is encouraging all emergency vehicles, friends, family, and community members to honor his death with a candlelight vigil and light-up ceremony.




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