Jump to content
  • Join the TowForce community.

    It looks like you're not logged in. Register to get started and to receive Tower Down Notices.

Tow truck drivers "light up the sky" for wounded Daytona Beach police officer


Recommended Posts

A long line of tow trucks from around Central Florida, their lights flashing and their horns honking, drove under a huge American flag at Halifax Health Medical Center on Tuesday night to show support for a critically injured Daytona Beach police officer.


The tow truck drivers called it “lighting up the sky,” something they usually do to show support for stricken tow truck drivers. Dozens of tow trucks took part in the rally. 


But on Tuesday night the drivers were lighting up the sky in support of Daytona Beach Officer Jason Raynor, 26, who remained in the hospital after being shot in the head on June 23. Raynor had been on patrol in an area where residents had complained about increased crime.


The man accused of shooting him, Othal Wallace, was arrested in Georgia on Saturday and is in the process of being extradited to Volusia County to face a charge of attempted first-degree murder of a law enforcement officer.

'We are a big family'

Lee Thomson of Volusia Towing said he was pleased by the turnout for Tuesday night's event, which was organized by Volusia Towing, Arrow Towing and Daytona Wrecker. He said the night Raynor was shot the tow truck drivers were helping the police by trying to find the suspect.

"They were out there searching for the suspect as well trying to help out any way that they can and I'm sure every other towing company was doing the same,” Thomson said. “We are a big family out here so we all try to look after each other.”

Another tow truck driver, Eddie Evans, of Crash Recovery and Towing in Edgewater, said he was there to show support for Raynor. He said he had met Raynor on the road while on the job.

“I'm doing this because not only was there a police officer laying up there in critical condition, there is also a friend of mine that’s laying up there and a brother of ours, so I’m doing this to support him and show him that we are here for him no matter what,” Evans said. He brought along his daughter, Loralye, 8, and son, Eddie Jr., 9, who said it was cool to see all the tow trucks gathered for the injured officer.

'He's a great officer'

Evans said he met Raynor through Port  Orange Police Officer Wayne Jean, who also attended the event. Jean said he worked with Raynor, a former Port Orange officer, for about three years before Raynor got a job at Daytona Beach Police.

“He’s a great officer, very enthusiastic,” Jean said. “He’s a go-getter. Just a person you really want to be around all the time. He’s very happy. Great personality.”

Before the trucks cranked up their engines, pastors said some prayers as they stood atop a flatbed tow truck from Arrow Towing. 

Pastor Monzell Ford, the chaplain for the Daytona Beach Police Department, assured the law enforcement officers from various agencies gathered for the event that they appreciated.

“There are some that don’t like you,” Ford said. “But there are more that love you. You are appreciated. You are loved. You are necessary, you are not going nowhere. I appreciate you and I want to say thank you, thank you. You don’t hear it enough.”

Law enforcement heard it and saw it on Tuesday night at Halifax Health.

Two large two trucks held up the huge American flag across an entrance road in the parking lot of the hospital. 

Then after the prayers were said, police cars with their blue and red emergency lights flashing, led the procession under the American flag. The police cars sounded their sirens in short bursts and honked their horns.

They were followed by the tow trucks with their amber lights flashing and loud horns. 

People gathered along the road and waved at the passing parade and recorded it on their phones.

'A great all around guy'

Toni Floyd of Ormond Beach works in the emergency registry at Halifax Health and met Raynor when his duties as a police officer brought him to the hospital. She was among the people along the road watching the parade.

“He’s just a great all around guy,” Floyd said. “He was always friendly. He was always nice to the people he came in contact with.”

Besides the tow truck rally, the community has shown its support in other ways. That includes the Daytona Beach Officer Jason Raynor Recovery Fund, a GoFundMe drive which as of Wednesday morning had raised $304,408 from 4,400 donors toward a goal of $350,000.

Raising funds:GoFundMe account for wounded Daytona Beach Officer Jason Raynor tops $200,000

Ford said that the Raynor family was watching from inside the hospital.

“They were just really excited about what they were seeing,” Ford said.

“I was grateful. The family is very emotional, just filled with joy,” Ford  said. “The mom especially, is so joyful of just how so much love is felt for her son.”

RESOURCE LINK with images


Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Unfortunately, your content contains terms that we do not allow. Please edit your content to remove the highlighted words below.
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

  • Create New...
Please Sign In or Sign Up