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Tow truck goes into Sacramento River (CA) FINAL UPDATE 04.16.19 NOW UPDATED 02.25.20


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Tow truck goes into Sacramento River after crash, official says -- SACRAMENTO, Calif.





A tow truck went over Pioneer Bridge and into the Sacramento River Tuesday night after getting into a crash with a semi-truck, the West Sacramento Fire Department said.

Search crews located the tow truck about 30 feet under the water, but had to call off recovery efforts for the night because water conditions were too dangerous, Battalion Chief Scott Pfeifer said.




CHP - South Sacramento Released Statement -


On March 26, 2019, at approximately 2023 hours, the CHP Sacramento Communications Center received a call of an overturned vehicle into the water that came from the Pioneer Bridge. The callers described the vehicle as a white flat bed tow truck that drove over the center median bridge railing and plunged into the Sacramento River. Units from the South Sacramento CHP Area office and the CHP - Woodland Area office responded to the scene. It was determined that a two vehicle traffic collision occurred on westbound US 50 just east of the Sacramento/Yolo county line. The traffic collision involved a big rig and the flat bed tow truck. After the initial collision, the flat bed tow truck veered to the left, collided with the concrete and metal bridge railing, before going over the side and falling approximately one hundred and fifty feet into the Sacramento River. The driver of the big rig stopped at the scene and cooperated with CHP personnel.


Personnel from the Sacramento Fire Department, the DART - Sacramento Drowning Accident Rescue Team, Sacramento Sheriff Marine Unit and CHP - Valley Division Air Operations helicopter H-24 all responded to the area. They were unable to locate anyone in the water or on the shore. DART located the vehicle with sonar in the middle of the river approximately 30’ under water. The water conditions did not allow for any DART personnel to attempt a rescue.


The South Sacramento CHP Area office is requesting the public’s help. If you witnessed this collision please contact the South Sacramento CHP Area office, (916) 681-2300.


Prior Image Missing

Roselyn Sharma and Shalvinesh Sharma


UPDATE: "Donald Singh said his sister, Roselyn, was in a tow truck with her husband heading west on Highway 50 toward the Pioneer Bridge around the time of the crash. He fears the worst."



Company Information: Justin Towing Services - Sacramento, California












Christopher Parrish
Community Manager / Web AdminTowing Information Network
Tow411.net | TowForce.net | Tow.Photos | TowCareers.com | TowTruckShopper.com
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I don’t ordinarily talk about my past, but I have to respond again to this post in a different manner as it helps me handle my own personal PTSD. Although this message is lengthy, please read this in its entirety.


Regarding this horrible tragedy, I’ve read some unfair comments made by tow company personnel and others at the decisions to cease (temporarily) rescue efforts citing unsafe conditions. To that I share, in September, 1975, I was a young police officer saddled with the task of monitoring the San Diego River during El Nino storms. I remember a similar incident of a heroic rescue attempt where three firefighters drowned attempting to rescue others. Fast forward to 40-years ago, firefighters were attempting to rescue distressed rafters that went into New York’s Susquenna River. During initial rescue attempts, they rescued one rafter from the water with a rescue buoy, but didn’t get the second rafter. Firefighters went back into the swollen river in a small Boston-Whaler type boat when the current sucked the boat into the churning water. All three were tossed into the water. A second boat went into the water and they too capsized.


We towers should always remember that, when speed of recovery goes up, safety oftentimes goes down.  I want this narrative to serve as training topic for three reasons; one, swift-water tow recoveries are ALWAYS dangerous where I know of as many as five tow operators who died swimming or trying to extract vehicles from swift-water. Two, Mother Nature serves up dangerous conditions that man can never correctly estimate or beat, and three, I had a near drowning experience a few years ago on the Carson River where I’ll attest that even the strongest swimmer may not be able to beat the forces of the river.


Note:  The video I’ve attached is graphic. The video serves as a reminder that, NO rescuer is safe from the unknown or unseen dangers of any scene. While emotions always run high in these kinds of scenarios, when there’s risk to rescuers, sending rescuers in hastily sometimes leads to additional fatalities. Like the firefighters that you’ll see (if you watch the video), when they tried to attempt rescue under extremely unfavorable conditions, they lost their lives in the line-of-duty. But, where is it written that common sense should trump acts of safety and bravery? And, for those nay sayer’s who’ve dissed the decisions made in Sacramento this week, you should be ashamed of your nonsensical comments.


Link:  https://www.pressconnects.com/story/news/public-safety/2015/09/29/40-years-later-drowned-firefighters-honored/72989294/


Comments that degrade the brave Sacramento’s first responder community are uncalled for.  I have every faith the carrier will be recovered when fast flowing waters have slowed. It’s my hope that tower’s come away with a smarter view of just how vulnerable first responders are. And, in that, I also pray for the safety of those rescuers who ultimately will go into the Sacramento River. The water will reside eventually and recovery will take place under proper conditions. Until then, it’s far too dangerous to risk the lives of others via some knee-jerk reaction.  I hurt for the Sharma family.     R.

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Randall C. Resch

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Guest Doug Powers

Pretty Sad for the family and friends of the couple I used to Dive in the river it is dangerous when the river is normal all kinds of stuff down there to get stuck or cut up on.  But they should mark it with a bouy could drop a hook on it with a float to make sure it don't get pushed down stream, bring up a large barge with big hooks and cable or chain and a crane hoist it to the bank and drag it out. Don't let it get down stream it gets real deep across from where the Marina is aand very swift.

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  • 2 weeks later...

UPDATE 04.10.19:


Divers Set To Recover Tow Truck, Couple In Sacramento River Friday


SACRAMENTO (CBS13) — Divers are set to recover the tow truck that plummeted off the Pioneer Bridge into the Sacramento River this Friday.


his comes over a week after officials located the truck, but could not safely recover it and the couple presumed to be inside. The truck crashed into the river around 8 p.m. on March 26.


CHP South Sacramento said the recovery effort will come from Global Diving and Salvage, with local agencies on the scene. The Bay Area company is expected to leave Thursday morning.


According to CHP, the family got power of attorney of Justin’s Towing Wednesday and contracted Global Diving and Salvage to do the recovery through the tow truck company’s insurance.


Global Diving and Salvage plans on transporting a barge with the necessary equipment to make a recovery of the vehicle from their Bay Area headquarters tomorrow with the barge arriving sometime in the evening. Officials said the recovery could take up to two days.

There is no word on the couple believed to be inside. The family of Shalvinesh and Roselyn Sharma believe their bodies are at the bottom of the Sacramento River, but local crews had not been able safely to locate the truck and couple due to rapid, frigid waters. The water is moving at about four feet per second.


Last Monday, a commercial dive team was called in to help with the recovery effort. They used sonar to find the tow truck, pinpointing the location through sound waves. They now believe they have located the truck using sonar technology, but crews have not actually seen or touched the truck.

The water was too dangerous for local divers, so Solano County divers came to help on Saturday, but the water was still too dangerous.

“Safety is paramount when we’re out here,” said Solano County Sergeant Jackson Harris on Saturday. “We’re not going to cause any further complications by putting our divers into jeopardy.”


Police say they believe the truck is halfway across the river and about 39 feet down. Officials say there are two major PG&E pipelines in the water and weather conditions will make the recovery increasingly difficult


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We're all awaiting the recovery of the carrier and the sad news that Mr. and Mrs. Sharma have been recovered ... if not for the closure it will bring to their family and the towing community as well. Christine and I pray for the safety of everyone involved in the recovery efforts.     R

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Randall C. Resch

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Family continues to search for woman who was in tow truck that plunged into Sacramento River




The body of man who was in a tow truck that plummeted into the Sacramento River two weeks ago was recovered Thursday, family members and the California Highway Patrol said. Shalvinesh Sharma’s body was found around 8:45 a.m. south of Stan's Yolo Marina, which is toward the West Sacramento side of the river, authorities said. Shalvinesh Sharma, 40, was in the tow truck with his wife Roselyn Sharma when the truck plunged into the river after a crash with a big rig on the Pioneer Bridge. The collision hurtled the truck over the bridge rails and into the water. Divers and a barge are headed to the Sacramento River in order to help recover the body of Roselyn Sharma. Get the full story in the video above.

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The truck was recovered this morning at approx. 9:30 am Pacific time. The found the body of Shalvinesh Sharma was found on Thursday five miles down river. The Roselyn Sharma was recovered with the truck. Our hope and prayers go out to the family and friends.






Tow truck from river.png




The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.

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In loving memory of Rimal Shalvin Sharma and Roselyn Sharma who are forever in our hearts.

We request you to bring thoughts, prayers, fondest memories and join us for family memorial service

on April 18th from 2pm to 4pm at Sacramento Memorial Lawn , 6100 Stockton Blvd, CA 95824.

Thanks for all your support !! — with Roselyn Sharma and Shalvin Sharma.


RESOURCE: Justin's Towing Service FB Page


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Christine and I send our heartfelt prayers in the loss of the Sharma's. We will not be able to attend, but know we are there in spirit.    R&C Alpine, CA.

Randall C. Resch

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  • 10 months later...

The shocking crash that sent a tow truck plummeting off the Highway 50 bridge last year, killing a husband and wife, was caused by little more than a glancing blow between two trucks, investigators have determined.


A year-long review determined that tow truck driver failed to properly merge with a 70-foot-long big rig just ahead of him on the Pioneer Memorial Bridge on March 26, 2019. The tow truck’s front right wheel scraped the rear left wheel of a big rig near the apex of the bridge.


A Sharma family member, who saw a summary of the CHP report, said he believes, however, it is possible the big-rig cut off the tow truck.


The 8:30 p.m. incident on westbound Highway 50 caused the tow truck to careen to the left across several traffic lanes and smash into and over the interior freeway guard rail, vaulting the truck off the bridge, according to an investigation by the California Highway Patrol’s Multidisciplinary Accident Investigation Team.


The tow truck, carrying Shalvinesh Sharma, 40, and his wife Roselyn Sharma, 39, fell 101 feet into the river, then sunk 30 feet to the river bottom. The Sharmas, owners of local Justin’s Towing, which was named after their son, were on their way to a call when the crash occurred. CHP officials said they do not know which of the two was driving the tow truck.


Shalvinesh Sharma’s body was found floating in the river two weeks later about five miles downstream near Sacramento’s Pocket neighborhood. A few days after that, crews found Roselyn Sharma’s body inside the mangled tow truck when they extracted it from the river.


CHP offiicals said the crash occurred at about 45 miles per hour. The big-rig driver was merging slightly ahead of the tow truck onto the freeway westbound from northbound Interstate 5.


CHP spokesman Mike Harris said investigators believe the tow truck made a “glancing” impact with the big-rig, then veered sharply left. Investigators said they believe the tow truck driver turned the steering wheel to the left during or after impact with the big rig.


The tow truck broke through the upper metal portion of the bridge’s three-foot-high concrete and metal barrier and dropped through the 24-foot-wide gap between the westbound and eastbound freeway bridges.


“The big-rig driver said he felt a slight nudge,” Harris said. “He pulled over to see what it was. He didn’t realize what had happened until he was informed later.”


Tow truck freeway crash investigation concludes

The crash investigation is formally over and copies have been given to representatives of the family, Harris said.


“This is just a tragic incident with a horrible outcome, a perfect storm of events that cascaded into this truck going off the side of the bridge,” Harris said. “We are sorry for everybody involved, the family grieving the loss of loved ones.”


The couple left behind two children, Justin, 17, and Joselyn, 13.


Donald Sharma, a brother of Roselyn Sharma, said he does not believe the CHP report conclusions are definitive. He said he believes it is possible the big-rig got in the tow truck’s way as it merged onto the freeway, and that the rear of the 70-foot truck could have swayed out to the left, causing the impact.


The two families held a joint memorial service. “We want to do the service together as well,” family member Justin Singh said before the service. ”We want to make sure we praise their souls from our family that came all over the place.”


“My brother-in-law and my sister, they worked together, they had a loving marriage, they built a business together. And they died together in the same accident. It’s very sad.”


It took several weeks to recover the truck and the bodies. Rescue work was repeatedly postponed due to the danger of fast-moving river water.


The vehicle was found with the help of Pacific Gas & Electric Co. sonar technology, which is normally used to monitor underwater infrastructure. A private recovery crew spent more than two days trying to wrest the vehicle from the murky bottom amid cold and swift currents after multiple law enforcement agencies worked for two weeks to locate the vehicle.


Family members held vigil at the recovery site and said they felt some closure when Roselyn Sharma’s body was found.


“I’m kind of blessed, a lot of people came up to us and said their prayers,” Singh said. “It worked ... because we got her today, this morning from the tow truck, she’s there.”



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