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rreschran

Re: Michigan Tow Operator Killed Today 5-29-2018

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Another tow-brother has just been killed this morning in the line-of-duty at the scene of an empty, broken down school bus in Pittsfield Township, near Ann Arbor, Michigan.  The name of the tower has not been released and details are few at this time. Early reports stated the tower was standing at the rear of the bus when a Ford SUV plowed the rear of the bus. No other vehicles were parked on the shoulder when the SUV struck the bus. Some news reports indicate that the driver of the SUV has died of their injuries. My prayers and sympathy’s go out to the tower’s family, his company and those who knew him.    R.

 

Tow truck driver killed, 7 injured in crash involving school bus on eastbound I-94 at US-23

Chehadi Nader killed in crash

ANN ARBOR, Mich. - A tow truck driver was killed and seven other people were injured in a crash involving a school bus on eastbound I-94 at US-23 in Pittsfield Township.  

 

All lanes of eastbound I-94 were closed for several hours at South State Street. The lanes are back open to traffic. 

 

The crash happened at about 10:15 a.m. on I-94 about a 1/4 mile before US-23. The crash involved a school bus, an SUV and a tow truck.

 

Michigan State Police said the tow truck driver, Chehadi Nader, 42 from Ypsilanti, was assisting the school bus with engine problems at the time of the crash. Nader was at the rear of the bus when an SUV struck the school bus.

 

The SUV contained two adults and three children. Ypsilanti Schools confirmed there were no children on the bus at the time of the crash.

 

The three children were taken to C.S. Mott Children's Hospital in critical condition. Two adults were taken to St. Joseph Mercy Hospital, also in critical condition. Two others suffered minor injuries. Nader was killed.

 

State police released an update at 4:17 p.m. saying the two adults and three children in the SUV are still in critical condition.

 

Link:    https://www.clickondetroit.com/all-about-ann-arbor/ann-arbor-traffic/tow-truck-driver-killed-7-injured-in-crash-involving-school-bus-on-eastbound-i-94-at-us-23


Randall C. Resch

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I'm mad and I've got something to say. When a picture is worth a thousand words, the above video speaks volumes to the issue of tow operators working unprotected or unassisted load and tow scenarios. Here's what pisses me off; towers take note. Watch these news videos and count the number of police cars that responded to this crash AFTER the fact. If TIMs and white-line safety are such big issues, why aren't there PROACTIVE steps taken where law enforcement dispatches police officers in-support of towing vehicles off the highway before death and carnage becomes top stories in the news? From these videos, I count as many as 10x police cars that obviously showed up AFTER the crash and AFTER the tow operator was killed ... 10x police cars to block the view of passing traffic? Are you kidding me? Why not a portable barrier made of PVC pipe and tarps? Worse, break that down into dollar's spent with ALL first responders on-scene, the numbers of hours police tied-up in this investigation, the loss of time and availability in hospital emeregency rooms, lost fuel costs, costs of first responder vehicle operations, the list goes on and on. One idea? Why can't or why does't law enforcement create a PROACTIVE task force that assigns police personnel to assist towers at the scene of any and all tow scenarios? Why not take the newest police academy graduates and assign them to respond to tow assists. When they're not assisting tow operators, they're enforcing traffic violators AND those who fail to slow down and move-over. You can't tell me that the number of tow assists will overwhelm the system. And, when all these cops are working this crash, the rest of the area highways and community is left unprotected and un-enforced. They call them emergency shoulders for a reason and this is a prime example of the reason responding tow operators need law enforcement assistance. I write this on behalf of the nearly 300-tow operators killed in crash incidents while serving America's highways since 1954. It's my opinion that, every tow scenario should have an officer on-scene and others to create traffic slow-down patterns while towers are loading. That process doesn't take too much time to load and go. TIMs typically doesn't call for stopping traffic completely, so there's something obviously missing. At what point do tow companies stop sending their trucks out on the highway? I ask this question of any tow company that responds to calls in the highway. Current practices don't work, Move-Over Laws are a joke, DUI's will never stop and distracted driving is here to stay. Does the chump-change that you towers are making justify the lives of your tow operators? I'm boiling mad at this preventable loss of life and you should be too.  So I'll ask, what towers are listening and who's had enough? Distracted driving has reached astronomical proportions. Tow owners and state associations have a responsibility in how they respond to calls on America's highways ... and if that means levying their demands through partnering with their state's highway patrol ... so be it. Make your comments known in a proactive manner. And, at some point where your pleas and comments fall on deaf ears, perhaps towers SHOULDN'T respond to calls on the highway where it ultimately becomes a government issue. Is this an ignorant thought, or, do these words touch on the reality of the towing and recovery industry? For me, the term, "Lessons Learned", means, making corrections to better a process, or, make safer the environment or task at hand in the best interest of an industry's worker. Is getting killed simply an acceptable part of us doing business?  Copmments? Thoughts?    R.                             


Randall C. Resch

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our thoughts and prayers go out to the tower's family.

 

 

I'm mad ............................

 

Amen to your thoughts.


George - - Moore's BP
We'll see you on down the road

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I called Pennsylvania State Police numerous times to assist me on the interstate hooking up a tractor trailer on the white line and they never once showed up to help.

Edited by Stuart Wagner

cjwagner.png

Check out our website at:  www.cjwagnerinc.com

 

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These are the kind of comments I'd like to see. If this has happened to you as a tower and you have the data to back it up, please let me know your comments.     R.


Randall C. Resch

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I seen this several times I'm from Texas and local PD does not assist or they see you hook up a car on the white line and all they do is pass by, no amount of laws or signs are gonna keep distracted drivers and dui drivers out of our highways, rreschran you are spot on sir. We pray for the family of the driver ?

Edited by 4body1986

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As a former police accident investigator, I always consider the possibility of a heart attack, seizure, or other medical issue. Distracted driving and DUI are common ... perhaps the surviving victims will have some answers as the investigation goes forward,     R.


Randall C. Resch

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My thoughts and prayers go out to the towers family and friends. I agree that law enforcement on scene would help , but our pleas will probably fall on deaf ears. They are getting paid by the government (us taxpayers) while we are out there “gouging” the public. Fortunately the law enforcement in my area never leave the scene until I’m loaded and ready to go (for police calls). Breakdowns mean we’re still on our own. 

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There are multiple pieces to the puzzle of this issue. I am never hesitant to share my opinion, so let me start from the beginning of my thought process. Bear with me to the bitter end.

 As a profession, towing operators do not stand united to allow for changes for the better. We have never been on the same page, so to speak. If the industry as a whole was not fragmented, but was united, Ooida, TDLR, and other regulating authorities could be told to go piss against the wind. Instead, there are very few areas in this country, where the competition will not stab you in the back or cut your throat to make a quick buck. The failure of the industry being united has allowed corrupt politicians as well as political entities to extort services and manipulate pricing to the point that some operate at a loss. The failure to be respected as well as represented as a true profession is why many state they can not afford health insurance, can not afford benefits, require the extreme sacrifices that many endure as they attempt to fulfill their perceived role in this industry.

From an equipment perspective, towing has never been as technologically advanced and safety driven as it is today. From an equipment perspective. From a cognitive industry perspective, towing has never been as dangerous and perilous as it is today. It is the choices that are made by individuals, that cause the industry to be perilous, devastating, and deadly. People, if you do not want to get slaughtered on the side of the highway, stop pissing and moaning about the carnage, do something, now, effective immediately, and do not tow ANYTHING from the side of the highway unless you are protected. If you are not protected, DO NOT EVEN RESPOND TO THE CALL. If you have to sent another truck to block traffic, send another unit, or procure a barrier truck to secure a lane and bill accordingly. If the police will not give you a lane, pack up your gear and go home, safe to your family and loved ones.

If you own a company, do not put your staff at risk by having them tow ANYTHING from the side of the highway unless they are protected. If you are a driver, DO NOT tow or respond to any incident on the side of a highway unless you are protected via a barrier truck or additional equipment to close a lane.

If you are not willing to implement mechanisms to ensure the safety of your staff, you do not deserve to have staff working for you. I hope you go out of business and lose everything you have made off the risk your employees have taken.  If you do not trust the judgement of your staff, why do you have them working for you?

If you are an employee, your number one responsibility is to go home at the end of the day. You work to live, you do not live to work. If a scene is not safe do not even stop. Being unprotected on the side of a highway is not safe. At any time of day. If someone spills their coffee, sneezes and shits their pants, looks at a sign, sends a text, or reaches for the radio, you could be seconds from death. Go get a pair of dice and see how many rolls it takes to roll a 12.

Just think of those odds when you make bad decisions based on earning a few dollars. Think of those odds when you hug you significant other and or your children.

IS IT WORTH THE RISK?

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UPDATE:

 

According to witnesses, an SUV made an abrupt lane change to the right, crossing all lanes of travel before driving onto the shoulder of the road. The SUV, which was driven by Andre Edwards, 25, of Ann Arbor, then attempted to enter the freeway again, but struck the back of an Ypsilanti school bus. 

 

The driver of the SUV did not have a valid driver's license. 

 

Inside the vehicle were three children. Two-year-old Darrel Moore, 4-year-old Desmond Moore and 5-year-old Deprince Moore – all presently at the University of Michigan Mott Children's Hospital and listed in stable, serious and critical condition, respectively.

 

Another passenger in the vehicle, 28-year-old Antoinette Butler, is currently listed in critical condition.

 

Police say the three children were not properly restrained in the vehicle. 

 

Toxicology reports are still pending, and will determine if alcohol or drugs were a factor. 

 

______________________

 

YPSILANTI, Mich. (WXYZ) - Friends and co-workers of a tow truck driver killed along I-94 near US 23 went back to the crash site on Wednesday. They put a cross there so drivers would know what happened to Nader Chehadi, a husband and father of 2 young children.

 

Chehadi, a tow truck driver for Budget Towing in Ypsilanti, died while he was helping a school bus stopped along the freeway. It was after 10 o'clock Tuesday morning when police say an SUV slammed into that school bus, killing Chehadi.

 

Michael Wood, who works at Budget Towing, says he and his co-workers also wanted to put that cross out at the crash site to raise awareness about safety on the road. 

"We have cars going by within inches of our truck," says Michael Wood. "See what happened yesterday. It's tragic."

 

7 Action News put a GoPro camera on one of those tow trucks and we could see that many drivers didn't bother to move over.

 

Michigan State Police say back in 2011, the Move Over Law was passed. It says if you come upon an emergency vehicle, including tow trucks, while they're working, you are to move over one lane if there's room. If you can't, you're required to slow down.

 

Fady Salemeh owns Budget Towing and is a family member of Nader Chehadi. 

 

"Nader Chehadi was my brother's wife's nephew. He's worked with us since 2004. He was the heart of the company," he says.

 

He also urges drivers to pay more attention while on the road.

 

"Give them space. Let them do what they gotta do. Those kids are never gonna see their dad again. Don't we all want to go home to our families?"

 

On Wednesday afternoon, Michigan State Police released new details surrounding the crash in this news release:

 

Tow truck driver Nader Chehadi, 42 from Ypsilanti, was killed when an SUV struck a school bus, stopped on the side of the freeway, that he was assisting.

 

Witnesses report seeing the SUV make an abrupt lane change to the right, crossing all lanes of travel, before driving on to the shoulder. The SUV then attempted to enter the freeway again, but stuck the back of the school bus. The driver of the SUV did not have a valid driver’s license. The driver, her three children and another passenger were critically injured. The children not properly restrained in the vehicle. 

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GoodMichael's message reaches the heart of this tow operator fatality where all towers working the highways should re-evaluate their on-highway response. And, thanks Ron for providing that update video. Because of the on-going investigation, there's plenty to be learned regarding the SUV's driver and her conscious decision to operate a motor vehicle. Her selfish reasons are in-line with the 3x time previously convicted DUI motorist that killed my friend Fred Griffith. Watch this update video and hear the history of the driver accused of killing Mr. Chehadi.  Link: https://www.wxyz.com/news/history-of-driving-violations-for-woman-police-say-was-driving-suv-involved-in-deadly-i-94-crash. More details will pay out as this investigation unfolds. Please keep these comments coming.    R.


Randall C. Resch

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Tow truck drivers all too familiar with tragedy and close calls: 'Move over'

ANN ARBOR, MI - Someone had to do it.

 

The school bus that 42-year-old Nader Chehadi was attempting to tow when he was struck and killed on eastbound I-94 near State Street earlier this week still needed to be hauled off the highway.

 

That task fell upon Dennis Brewer.

 

The 75-year-old owner of the Brewer's and Sakstrup's towing companies was panicked when he got the phone call Tuesday, May 29 with news of the fatal crash. One of his own employees was working in the area.

 

"I called my driver that was out there immediately," Brewer said. "My happiest moment is when he answered the phone."

 

But it wasn't truly happy news, Brewer knew.

 

Though the tow truck driver involved in the crash wasn't his employee, a member of the close-knit tow truck community was killed while simply doing his job.

 

Two days later, hundreds of tow trucks lined up outside Chehadi's funeral at a mosque in Dearborn Heights to accompany his body in a procession to his burial site in Plymouth. Many of the trucks bore decals and banners that read "Move over, Michigan," a message meant to raise awareness and prevent more roadside collisions.

 

It's a far too preventable, yet common occurrence, said Brewer, who has spent more than 50 years in the business. And he's had an employee fatally struck while on the job once before.

It's estimated about 60 tow truck drivers die in the line of duty every year, said Jeffrey Godwin, first vice-president of the International Towing and Recovery Hall of Fame and Museum in Tennessee. 

 

 

Not all those deaths involve roadside crashes, but most do, Godwin said.

 

"It's once a week, sometimes more," said Godwin, who frequently speaks with families of tow truck drivers killed in roadside incidents as co-chair of the museum's Wall of the Fallen memorial and Survivor Fund.

 

"If I go two, two and half weeks (without), it's not only a shocking thing, it's something I begin to talk about."

 

The frequency of such deaths takes a toll, said Godwin, especially on drivers who are put in the position of cleaning up incidents in which fellow tow truck operators were killed.

 

Brewer not only helped in the aftermath of Tuesday's crash, but also on March 9, 2008, when his employee, Michael Johnston, 46, was fatally struck by a drunken driver - Brewer's own insurance agent, incidentally - who drove past flares on westbound I-94 near the southbound ramp from U.S. 23 before the fatal collision.

 

Brewer went with police to notify Johnston's parents of his death. He said it was one of the worst moments of his career.

 

"You hear it probably once a week, 'You don't know how close I come to getting hit,'" Brewer said. "It's terrible that people have to work and be out there rescuing somebody -- helping somebody with a flat tire, somebody whose car's hit and somebody who's run out of gas, or whatever -- and be exposed to this."

 

Brewer himself has had plenty of near-misses.

 

Less than a week ago, on May 25, he was loading a Dodge truck onto his flatbed, with lights flashing, when a tractor-trailer came barreling down the road, partially on the shoulder.

Brewer motioned at the driver to move over, but the driver didn't change course.

 

"He just kind of looked at me like I was a fence post," he said. "... I grabbed a hold to the side of the truck and hung on cause there's a suction when they go by."

Brewer had pulled his flatbed as far over as possible, but it still left little room.

 

"If I had had something in my hand I would have thrown it through his windshield," he said.

 

He's done that before, once early in his career when a driver plowed through police barricades at a multiple-fatality crash scene, heading right for him, he said.

 

Sometimes passing tow truck drivers will park their trucks in front of those at work - no matter the company they belong to - to prevent accidents and deaths, according to Brewer and Lori Thomas, Brewer's daughter and vice president of the two companies.

 

"It shouldn't have to be that way," Thomas said.

 

But the father and daughter duo believe heightened enforcement of the state's so-called "move over" law may help.

 

The law requires motorists to move one lane away from any police, fire, rescue, ambulance, tow truck and road service vehicle with flashing lights on the shoulder.

 

If that's not possible, due to traffic or other conditions, motorists are required to slow down and proceed with caution, giving as much room as possible.

 

Most states have some version of the law and, in Michigan, failing to move over is a misdemeanor punishable by up to 90 days in prison and a $500 fine if no one is injured. It's a felony in cases involving injury.

 

Michigan State Police have conducted stings against "move over" violators, said Lt. Mario Gonzales, and it's personal for them too. Gonzales said he's had friends and colleagues killed while working on a roadway.

 

The crash Tuesday may not be a "move over" issue - the driver is said to have crossed several lanes before the crash - but Gonzales said the incident serves as a reminder of the many dangers on the roadway. 

 

"I'm hoping at least people will realize that they have to be careful, they have to take precautions," he said.

 

While Chehadi's loved ones and the towing community attempt to heal, Gonzales asked that motorists be cognizant of their driving around disabled vehicles.

 

"Anybody that's driving down the road that sees an accident - keep their eyes forward, don't be gawking ... slow down and move over to the left or right."

 

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Maybe if the families of the deceased start putting pressure on OSHA, as well as filing suits against the companies their deceased family members worked for, for failure to provide a safe work environment people will wake up and start taking safety, as well as their attitude towards safety as a serious issue, and not an inconvenience.

Maybe if your insurance rates tripling due to your failure in not having an implemented safety plan causes you to close up shop so that someone who cares enough to demand that every tow on the side of a highway has a blocker piece of equipment to protect the operator that is a required charge to respond to the side of a highway. Maybe if you as a professional operator refuse to operate equipment without proper blocker equipment  and just keep driving past a scene and refuse to stop until it meets a prescribed level of safety. Maybe if you association leaders stop pleading with the motoring public to slow down and move over and instead focus your energy on law enforcement with a slogan, "you will cover our ass." (Let's face it, people just are too self absorbed to care.) Maybe if you association leaders stop everything and make this your top issue, rather than the superficial bullshit you are pressing forward with today.

 

Then as a result, a mother and/or father can be alive and present to read a bedtime story to their toddler, attend their child's school play, attend their child's graduation, walk their child down the aisle at their wedding, watch their children open Christmas presents, throw a baseball with their sons and/or daughters, and show their children how to be a loving spouse.

Edited by goodmichael

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chehadijpg-83964ccca74ecbc7.jpg

Tow truck driver killed in school bus crash was family man, gearhead

Nader Chehadi, a tow truck driver killed in a crash while attending to a disabled school bus on I-94 last week, will be remembered as a fair, honest family man who seemed to have a solution for everything, relatives said.

The crash severely injured several people, shook up area towing businesses and devastated Chehadi's family, who found some comfort in a procession of hundreds of tow trucks that paid tribute to the Ypsilanti man after his funeral, accompanying his body to the burial site. 

"Everyone who worked with him respected him," his sister-in-law Erin Chehadi said. "Even if he wasn't on the job, you could call him up and he would help you with anything. He was just a person you knew you could count on."

Chehadi, 42, was killed when an SUV crashed into a school bus on the shoulder of eastbound I-94 near State Street in Pittsfield Township. He was at the rear of the bus, assisting the bus driver when he was killed, according to police.

Police say the driver of the SUV was unlicensed and made an abrupt lane change just before the crash.

Chehadi worked for Budget and Stadium Towing service out of Ypsilanti. He worked with a few of his family members, including his twin brother Samer Chehadi, from whom he was inseparable, Erin Chehadi said.

"My husband lost his other half. Together, (Nader and Samer) were whole," she said.

Ali Aoude remembers Chehadi, his cousin and coworker, as a person he could always count on.

"If I ever had an issue or I felt like walking out of work, he would calm me down," said Aoude, 25, of Canton Township. "He was one of the best guys you could talk to and there's nobody that will replace him."

When Nader Chehadi moved to the U.S. from Lebanon in 2002, he lived with his brother Samer, Erin and their daughter Izabella. Erin Chehadi said her brother-in-law and now 15-year-old Izabella were very close.

"He loved my daughter and he would do absolutely anything for her," Erin Chehadi said. "He was always her cheerleader. He treated her like she was one of his own kids."

Chehadi is also survived by his wife, Randa Younes Chehadi. He was a father to five-year-old Dany and four-year-old Kiki.

"He lived for those kids," Erin Chehadi said. "Any time he was with them his face just beamed. Randa (Nader's wife) and the kids are so lost right now and will never be the same. Dany's always asking questions. He wanted to know where his dad is and we told him he's up in the sky right now getting him a star."

When he wasn't working or taking care of his wife and children, Nader Chehadi enjoyed fishing, duck hunting and driving his 2006 Corvette. He raced for the first time last year at the Milan Dragway. Erin Chehadi said he planned on racing again this summer.

Funeral services took place Thursday, May 31 at the Islamic Institute of American in Dearborn Heights. Hundreds of tow trucks from all across the state, as well police from Ypsilanti and Eastern Michigan University took part in the procession, following the hearse from the mosque to the burial site in Plymouth.

"He was a very bright spot in our family and a light has gone out," Erin Chehadi said. "We will never let his kids forget their dad and who he was and how much we loved him. We have unbelievable amounts of pictures of him and memories, which I will hold close with me forever."

 

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