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Towing company hopes crashed car decoration will help save lives (FL)


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crashed car decorated for Christmas


NEW PORT RICHEY, Fla. — One towing company is trying to get a special message out to the community this holiday season in hopes of saving lives.


Decorating for Christmas is a little different for Taylor Faille’s family. Instead of a tree in front of the family-owned towing business, they decorate a wrecked car.


"What I do every year is I take the worst car that I have and I put it out front," said Michael Schmidt, owner of All Hour Towing in New Port Richey.


Then it's decorated with lights next to a sign that says, "Don't Drink and Drive, Don't Text and Drive. Happy Holidays, All Hour Towing."


Schmidt has been a tow truck driver for more than 40 years and has seen a lot of fatal crashes because of drinking or texting while driving.


"Too many to count," said Schmidt.


According to the U.S. Department of Transportation, 300 people die in the U.S. each year due to drinking and driving just between the week of Christmas and New Year's Day. And distracted driving can be just as dangerous.


"There are more crashes due to texting than there are to DUI's now," said Schmidt.


So before you hit the road, Schmidt wants people to keep the image of the crashed car in their heads.

"I figure if that thing saves one person, it did something," said Schmidt.


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  • 3 weeks later...

I stopped providing wrecked vehicles to community awareness programs after a deceased parent (of a DUI young adult) complained to the police department that the use of the vehicle was insensitive. The department representative took sides with the parent. While I understand there is some sensitivity that will come out of losing a family member, the display was done with good intent. It took a lot of effort to clean up the bad press that was generated from that one complaint. But, for parents to sweep the reality of drinking and driving under the proverbial rug doesn't negate the fact that DUIs and distracted driving kills America's youth at an alarming rate. Accordingly, I believe that you can't be all things to all people and someone in today's world is going to be offended no matter what.       R. 

Randall C. Resch

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If a company does all the proper notifications, many of the victims family are on board to raise awareness. If they are not, sadly there are more than one vehicle and it does not need to have involved a fatality. It's the visible representation which causes the reaction. Does it save a life, how would you ever be able to determine such a life event.

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