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Tower Down 04.23.19 (MS)


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 Tow Operator Fatality TODAY




Another tow operator (in Mississippi) has been struck and killed today with limited information. According to the Desoto County Sheriff’s Department, a tow truck driver was loading a car onto his wrecker when another motorist hit and killed him in the northbound lanes of I-55 near the the East Commerce Street exit. The name of the tow operator was not released.


Link: https://wreg.com/2019/04/23/one-person-dead-in-i-55-accident-in-desoto-county/

Randall C. Resch

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Man dies in I-55 accident

One man is dead and another has been cited in connection with a fatal accident that took Tuesday morning in DeSoto County.

The Mississippi Highway Patrol reported the accident took place around 11 a.m. on northbound I-55 just north of Slocum Road, south of Hernando.


According to the MHP, a vehicle driven by Devan E. Simpson of Mason, Tennessee, struck a man who was on the shoulder of the roadway attempting to load a disable vehicle on to a tow truck.


DeSoto County Coroner Josh Pounders later identified the victim as Tommy Ray McKee, age 40, of Courtland.


The Highway Patrol reported McKee was killed as a result of the accident and Simpson was issued a citation for failing to move over.


According to the Desoto County Sheriff’s Department, a tow truck driver identified as Tommy R. McKee was loading a car onto his wrecker when another motorist identified as Devan E. Simpson hit and killed him in the northbound lanes of I-55 near the the East Commerce Street exit. "


The investigation continues into the cause of the accident, according to the Highway Patrol.




Off-duty officer killed, other driver cited after deadly accident on I-55


DESOTO COUNTY, Miss. - A Mississippi tow truck driver was hit and killed on Tuesday while on the job. Investigators said he was loading a disabled car on I-55 in DeSoto County when a driver sideswiped him.


Officials have identified the driver killed as Tommy R. McKee from Courtland, Mississippi.


Investigators say McKee was an off-duty officer in Crenshaw and Pope, Mississippi. Both cities are in Panola County.


According to the DeSoto County Sheriff, the accident happened on Slocum Rd and I-55. 


Information is limited however, FOX13 learned the driver was loading up a car on the overpass to Slocum Road when he was hit and killed. 

The driver of the car has been identified as Devan E. Simpson from Mason, Tennessee. Simpson was cited with failure to move over. 

Mississippi Highway Patrol told FOX13 this is an ongoing investigation and more charges could be added.


Tracy Robinson lives on a road that parallels that area on I-55.


"It's just horrible, I just can't believe things like that would happen here," Robinson said.


FOX13 talked to the wrecker service where McKee works in Panola County. The company said he was a great man and he will be deeply missed.


The wreck backed up traffic for nearly an hour while MHP investigated.


Officials say this case is still under investigation.


RESOURCE LINK with video

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Guest Jones Auto & Towing

God Speed tower! My condolences to the family.

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Here's another spin to this fatality where there are other news reports stating that the tow operator was a police officer loading the vehicle. While I know that many tow operators are police reserves or auxilary police officers or sheriff deputies, I don't know of a full-time police officer ever killed while on-duty as a police officer who was actively or hands-on involved in loading a vehicle onto a tow truck or a carrier. None the less, police officer, deputy sheriff or not, they too fall under the same while-line dangers and responsibilities as tow operators do no matter the existence of move-over laws.




Edited by rreschran
proper reference to detail added. thanks

Randall C. Resch

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That part should not make it effect us with more emotion then any other Tower Down.

But, it does because it pulls at our emotions with an angle we are not accustom too.


Lest we forget them on the long road home


The tow operator stood and faced his Maker, which must always come to air.
He hoped his chains were left behind and he hadn't brought them on to bare.
"Step forward now, wrecker driver how shall I deal with you?"
Have you always rendered aid? To your Maker, have you been true?
The tower, with dirt on his hands, said "No sir, I guess I ain't.
Because those of us who drive wreckers can't always be a saint.
I've had to work most Sundays and at times my talk was rough,
and sometimes I've taken people cars, because life is just that tough.
But I never took a penny, that wasn't mine to keep.
Though I logged a lot of hours when the bills just got too deep.
And I never passed by a cry for help though at times I had little to gain,
and sometimes, please forgive me, I could do little more than feel their pain.
I know I don't deserve a place among the people here.
They only wanted me around in their worst of moments there.
But if you have a place for me here, well...it need not be too grand.
I never expected or had too much so if you don't...I'll understand."
There was silence all around the room where the saints respectfully stood.
As the tow operator waited quietly, for the judgment...bad or good.
"Step forward now, wrecker driver, you've borne your burdens well.
Come tow on heaven streets, You've done your time in hell."



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This is another tragedy and loss of a tow mans life that should not have happened. People just don’t care about us are the fact we just want to go home to are family’s.  prayers and god speed to tower 

Steve A Catlett 

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Once again we mourn the loss of a fellow tow operator. Nothing we say can ease the pain his family is going through. And it seems that the motoring public just doesn’t get it. Until the tragedy happens to them, we’re just an obstacle in their way. My heart goes out to this mans family and friends. 

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Another tragedy of a fellow Tow operator all because someone didn't move over. This is so sad.

Our prayers go out for Tommy's family, friends, and co-workers.

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

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



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