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Tower Down - 12.10.22 (TX) "Updated 05.31.24"


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GOLDTHWAITE, Texas (KWTX) - The Texas Department of Public Safety is investigating a hit-and-run that left a tow truck driver dead in Mills County.


Troopers responded to the crash at 6:09 p.m. Dec. 10 on US 183 near Goldthwaite where the victim was loading and securing a vehicle onto his tow truck.


According to authorities, an unknown pickup truck failed to move over or slow down and struck the victim causing the truck to sustain damage and failed to stop and render aid.




Patrick Morin, 61, was pronounced dead on the scene by Justice of the Peace, Kim Avants. Next of kin notification has been made.


The suspected vehicle is believed to be a 2011 to 2015 metallic brown Toyota Tundra 4X4 pick-up truck.


“Evidence left at the scene shows that the vehicle had aftermarket fender flares that were painted to match, as well as factory trailer tow mirrors,” said Sergeant Bryan Washko, spokesman for Texas DPS. “The suspect vehicle is missing the right front fender flare and right trailer towing mirror.”


The crash investigation is active and open.


Anyone with information about this crash please contact DPS Waco Communications at 254-759-7131.




Texas DPS arrest suspect in fatal hit-and-run crash in Mills County


Police have recovered a 2014 Toyota Tundra that was allegedly involved in the crash.


GOLDTHWAITE, Texas (KWTX) - The Texas Department of Public Safety has arrested the driver of the Toyota Tundra involved in the hit-and-run death of Patrick Morin, 61.




Kerry Coats “KC” Kavanaugh, 38, has been charged with fail to stop and render aid (resulting in death) and is being held at the Mills County Jail.


Police have recovered a 2014 Toyota Tundra that was allegedly involved in the crash.






From the wife of Patrick Morin. Mitzi Morin released this information.


*Update-Patrick’s celebration of life will be Thursday, Dec 15th at 3pm at Grace Fellowship in Lampasas. There will be a light meal served afterwards.


*Flowers are welcome, as well as donations made in Patrick’s memory to the Buchanan Dam VFD and the Hill Country 100 Club.


Friends and family, it is with indescribable sadness that we share the news that Patrick was killed yesterday evening in a hit and run accident. We are still awaiting news and details of everything that happened, and when a memorial service will be.


Please pray specifically for Mitzi and Patrick’s family.


Pray that God will fill their heartache and numbness with his peace, love and comfort.


I will link to a memorial page that will have information to come regarding his service.





UPDATED 12.16.22

Tow trucking community mourns loss of Patrick Morin with motorcade in Lampasas




A day at work turned into to tragedy.


Sixty-one-year-old Patrick Morin was just doing his job last weekend, loading and securing a vehicle on his tow truck on US 183 when another truck crashed into him leaving the scene.


“It was just horrible to hear,” said Morin’s friend Brad Cook.


Morin died from his injuries.


“He’s a big part of our daily lives. It was devastating,” said Morin’s friend Charli Grady.


Morin owned his mechanic and towing business for around 30 years in Lampasas. Several residents say Morin was beloved in his community.


“Everybody knew him and he is originally from Lampasas. He had people here. He was just always going,” said Cook.


“He was always out ready to lend a helping hand. In times it mattered most, he was there asking to help. Whatever you need he was a phone call away,” said Grady.


Dozens of fellow tow truck drivers from near and far lined up their rigs during Morin’s memorial service Thursday to pay their respects.


According to DPS, the pickup driver who hit Morin “failed to move over or slow down and struck Morin."


Morin was the 47th roadside worker hit and killed this year in the Lone Star State. Texas leads the nation in roadside worker deaths this year.


“The slow down move over law, too many people do not adhere to it. Unfortunately, our friend paid the ultimate price,” said Ron Crofoot, a friend of Morin who used to work for him.


The family and the tow truck community hope people remember Morin anytime they see an operator on the side of the road.


“This is important, to move over for the tow trucks and any road workers as it is for the police officers that are out doing their jobs as well,” said Grady.


“Even somebody that broke down on the side of the road. It is not just for a certain group of people. If someone is on the side of the road just give us the space to do what they got to do,” said Cook.




UPDATED 01.05.23

Family of tow truck driver killed in hit-and-run asking Texans to be cautious: ‘slow down, move over’


BUCHANAN DAM, Texas (KWTX) - It’s been nearly one month since Patrick Morin was killed in a hit and run accident in Mills county.


“How much time is it going to add to your trip if you just slow down and move over?” Asked Patrick’s wife, Mitzi Morin.

That’s what the Morin family wants to know after their beloved husband and father was killed in a hit and run, on Dec. 10, 2022.


“No one wants to see officers show up at your door. When they did, as best I can recall, my words were ‘this is not good’,” said Mitzi.


“By not putting on a seatbelt you’re playing with your own life. When you go by somebody on the side of the road you’re playing with somebody else’s life at that point,” said Patrick’s son Kristopher Morin.


“It just really upsets me that there’s not respect or they’re not following the law. I do see it as a lack of respect for life,” said Mitzi Morin.


Since the accident, groups like the highway angels have given the Morin family an unwavering amount of support.


Now, the family is working to protect the safety of other tow truck drivers as a part of Patrick’s legacy.


“It’s important to honor Patrick by trying to save someone else’s life,” said Mitzi.


Along with Kristopher, Patrick is survived by his daughter, Bethany.


Kristopher and Mitzi don’t think the penalties for such actions are strict enough.


RESOURCE LINK with video

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This is so sad 😞 

I pray they find this person and pays for what he did.

Sending prayers to Patrick's family and friends 🙏 

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

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



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‘Move Over, Slow Down,’ Mills Co. tow truck driver killed in crash


MILLS COUNTY, Texas (KXAN) — The family of a tow truck operator killed in a hit and run while on-duty wants to see the Move Over Law taken more seriously.


It requires drivers to move over a line or slow down to 20 mph below the posted speed limit while passing emergency vehicles, law enforcement, tow trucks, utility service vehicles, TxDOT vehicles or other highway construction.


Troopers say Patrick Morin, 61, was hit and killed while working to secure a car onto his tow truck near Goldthwaite, which is about 100 miles west of WACO.


According to the First Responder Safety Institute, 47 first responders – including tow truck drivers and roadside assistance – were hit and killed on the side of the road.

Source: First Responder Safety Institute


To Date:

LEO - 17


Tow Operators - 17

Road Service Techs - 4




Seventeen of those were tow operators, at time of this article the most of any category.


According to TxDOT’s website, “Drivers who fail to give emergency and work crews space to safely do their jobs can receive a ticket with a fine of up to $200.”

“To see that the maximum fine is $200 to me is a joke,” said Morin’s son Christopher.


They’re pleading with drivers to take roadside safety seriously, whether they’re passing first responders, tow trucks — or people who have pulled over, even though the law doesn’t officially apply to them.


“He was an extraordinary man,” said Morin’s wife Mitzi.



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  • 11 months later...

Message from Mitzi Morin widow of Patrick Morin 2022 struck by death #51.


The bench hearing for Patrick’s killer is next Wednesday (29th) at 9:00 at the Mills County Courthouse in Goldthwaite.


The DA says that this is a good opportunity to show support for first responders & the SDMO law by having some of these stakeholders present in court.


If you know of any troopers, deputies, tow ops or firepeople in the area, would you please spread the word?


I know everyone is very busy. Prayers would be appreciated.


Thank you!


Southwest Tow Operators is asking for support for Mitzi and the entire Morin family. If you can make it to the hearing to support the family please wear your safety vest so the know your there for Patrick.




Mills County Courthouse

1011 4th St, Goldthwaite, TX 76844


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  • TowZone changed the title to Tower Down - 12.10.22 (TX) "Updated 05.24.24"
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Kavanaugh sentenced to 15 years after striking, killing tow truck operator with vehicle


District Attorney Micheal Murray reported that on Thursday, May 30 in 35th Judicial Court of Mills County, Kerry Coates Kavanaugh, of Goldthwaite, entered a plea of guilty to the offense of Vehicle Involved in Accident – Death and Failure to Stop and Render Aid. This offense is a second-degree felony in Texas, and is a punishable by community supervision or by 2 to 20 years in prison and an optional fine of up to $10,000. At the conclusion of the trial, Judge Mike Smith pronounced a sentence of 15 years’ confinement.


Assistant District Attorney Cara Landers and District Attorney Micheal Murray presented evidence that on Saturday, Dec. 10, 2022, Kavanaugh drove a pickup that struck and killed Patrick Morin, who was parked off the roadway towing a stranded vehicle outside of Goldthwaite. After the crash, Kavanaugh and a passenger fled the scene and went to a residence outside of Lometa.


The Texas Department of Public Safety conducted a crash investigation with the support assistance of the Mills County Sheriff’s Department, and Kavanaugh turned himself into law enforcement a day later after his passenger had contacted investigators.


In the wake of his death, Morin’s family advocated for stronger penalties for those who fail to slow down and move over for emergency vehicles, and those increased penalties went into effect in 2023.


“We are so honored to have advocated for justice for the family of Patrick Morin, and we hope that a sentence of this magnitude, despite a lack of criminal history on the part of Mr. Kavanaugh, can bring some comfort to the many lives that Mr. Morin touched,” Landers said. “We are proud to live in a community surrounded by law enforcement that thoroughly investigates crimes and allows us to pursue justice and we continually encourage those who drive on Texas roads to respect and honor the work of our first responders by following the law.”



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