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Incident Occurred 09.14.19

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This video represents a great courtroom illustration in showing questionable on-scene safety techniques.

 

BLAM ... that could have been a fatal strike for sure. So, may I ask, where were blocker (police) vehicles, cones, flares and all that "advanced emergency warning" stuff?

 

Although TIM is a big push for cops, towers and first responders ... why wasn't early warning used to its fullest advantage?

 

It's not a cure-all in this day and age of distracted driving, but it sets-up an easy defense in a fatality scenario. From my observation, this crash was a Lookie Lou incident, with no move over action, that could have started with LE parked waaaay back and not tucked-in at the early taper of the off-ramp. No doubt the motorist may have hit a blocker vehicle, but the same rules apply right? Either way the white SUV was going to impact the rear of the Chevy pickup, but swerved to the shoulder to avoid impact. If there was sufficient advanced notice,  perhaps the odds would have changed the outcome.I know ... it takes too long ... we weren't told to set cones ... it's not my job  ... we were only there a few minutes ... yada, yada, yada. These are just excuses that help create a "perception" of wrong doing on the tower's part, even though they were there in a work mode.

 

The message is clear, but what's it take to get tower's to use these proper tools of safety?

 

Also not, after impact, look how far forward the carrier moved even if the E brake was fully engaged.

 

This is a great video to discuss at your next drivers meeting.   R

Edited by rreschran

Randall C. Resch

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Randy, I agree. There was a disregard for totality of the scene mentality. The casualty appeared aftwr the carrier was advanced by the impact. Could the operator have staged in front of the casualty? Why did he temporarily stage in the kill zone, even for a second when it does not appear neccessary? Why did the officer not do a bettter job in controlling his or her scene? The catalyst was the jeep making contact with the pickup. From a pure comparitive negligence standpoint, it appears that if the carrier was not staged where it was placed while awaiting further direction, it would have been a minor crash, with a possible oight pole impact as a worst case scenario. 

If the carrier had been staged in front of the casualty while awaiting further direction the scene would have made a lot more sense. Had this operator stepped out at the exact moment that this incident occurred, this very easily could have been another fatal.

I am not beating anybody up. But folks, we have to be more cognizant of the totality of the scene each and every time we are near traffic posted at 20 mph or more. Your life depends on it.

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Michael, the casualty is in the grass to the left of the roll back, just off the road way. The officer is at the top of the ramp, possibly thinking the he would stage to block the ramp as that would have been the logical direction to remove the vehicle. It is debatable if the roll back caused a hazard due to where it was parked. Would cones have helped maybe, however we do not have the information as to why traffic slowed. As it was reported by the operator who appears in the blue shirt and without any ansi gear. This was the only vehicle involved and it was able to be driven out. In my view 98% of this is on the distracted motorist, 1% on law enforcement and 1% on the tow operator. In the end everyone involved learned a lesson and no one was injured. It could have been much was!

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I believe that was the casualty on the slow lane shoulder that came into view post impact. Why not stage in front of the casualty? Why are we staging on the white line inches from the kill zone? The probability of being struck is probably 50 times greater when one is that close to the white line. I believe it would be a 60/20/20 pure comparative liability. The officer should have done a better job, operator should have staged different, and should have been wearing ANSI gear. Dead is dead is the lesson here. Easly could have been a fatal incident. Again, Not picking on anyone. Least expensive and best lessons are learned when we do not pay the price and nobody is hurt. 

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I have to ask this of anyone reading these great responses and Tow Force forums ... if there are 4,000 to as many as 6,000 members of the Force, why (?) are only the same handful of participants reacting to these posts? I really like and appreciate seeing new ideas, new attitudes and new mind-sets to help distribute the messages of tow operator safety. The reason I actively participate is to help me learn what towers are thinking and experiencing in-hopes to make me a better instructor for the future. I may sometimes be aggressive and pointed in the way I think, but I firmly believe that we towers can learn solid, life-saving messages to pass-on to our employees, the next generation of tow operators, and most importantly, we old dogs might learn some new tricks. In all honesty, I'll be the first to step-up and admit I don't know everything there is to know about the towing and recovery industry, even after 50-some years in law enforcement,  towing and recovery, and as a military contractor. To that I'll say, these forums help to keep me educated and involved. And, not to miss the opportunity to recognize these solid participants, I appreciate all of you who are actively involved in a proactive and professional manner.     R.


Randall C. Resch

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I blame this totally on the driver that hit the rollback. You always should have a 3 or more second gap with the vehicle in front of you and  keep eyes on the road. If he would of been paying attention we wouldnt have this discusson right now. Also the driver of the tow truck needs to have safety gear on.

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It is the fault of the driver that hit the deck. We as an industry have to stop assuming that people are in line with the reasonable prudent person standard. If the casualty is on the shoulder why do you put yourself in harms way next to the kill zone. Pull in front of the marked pd unit and begin stategizing to clear the scene and get to a safe haven. There is no logical reason to be on the white line from what the scene presents. 

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Yes all of the blame does go to the suv but we have come to have try and protect people from themselves and the bad decisions they make.

 

I would say that some of the blame should be on the officer. They should have either directed the tow truck to the ramp  he was blocking or be blocking the the tow truck where it was parked. That doesn't absolve the tow truck driver from being in the right spot but they should have been directed to the proper place.


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

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i would have put my rollback / tow truck on the slower ramp and this was were the cop was also . stay away from the fast drivers .

 

yes the white suv was at fault but a lot of the problems in this video with heavy traffic flow and everyone slowing down fast and panicking could have been avoided with the tow vehicle off the MAIN road on put on a less heavy traffic road such as the off ramp in my opinion .

 

then the driver / operator had no major safety colors on ansi or not . i always hated this when i seen it . i even saw guys in shorts / flip flops and tee shirts at crash calls . at least toss on a vest or safety color shirt if your in that much of a hurry and some good boots or shoes .

 

i admit i did not have ansi approved full uniforms but i ALWAYS had a HIGH VIS vest or hoodie to wear with 3M reflective stripes on it . and the last few i had also had the orange vis behind the 3m stripes .


ex-tow truck operator . ex- auto mechanic . just a nice guy trying to make a living and enjoy life .

1987 k30 chevy 1ton 4x4 built from scratch truck as my daily driver - work truck .

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The key words on the last post were "could have been prevented." If the deck truck was not at its location this most likely would never have occurred. People panic when they are next to a big truck or lane that has little or no shoulder. Just observe people as they drive. Even a mini cooper will react to the lack of horizontal asphalt cushion. Many people do not grasp the concept of a nine foot minimum lane and, as a result of this panic,  may make panic adjustments to their trajectory. We as professionals need to be forward thinkers and always consider what if. Or as I tell people, do not bring your mental checker set when the game is chess. Think outside the box.

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