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Tower Struck: 11.19.19 (Canada) UPDATED


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Tow Truck Operator Struck - Driver Fled the Scene


Reports are Earlier Today a Tow Truck Operator from Lewis Heavy Towing of Barrie, Ontario was Struck by a Vehicle .


Tow Truck Driver was Taken to the Hospital with Unknown Injuries.


The Driver of the Vehicle that Struck the Tow Truck Operator Fled the Scene.


No further Info at this time - South Simcoe Police are Investigating .


RESOURCE @Mr Pink1 and Barrie411


Photo from Steve Cooke (Posted on Barrie411)


Tow-truck driver struck in hit and run UPDATED 11.20.19


Two-truck driver Andrew Cortes suffered injuries when he was the victim of a hit and run while on the job.

(Photo Supplied to News Source Link Below)


Is it open season on tow-truck drivers?


Just a week after the funeral of Oshawa tow-truck driver Todd Burgess, who was struck and killed on the job, another driver has had a close call in a hit and run.


Andrew Cortes had just finished loading a big yellow school bus onto his tow rig Tuesday when a driver going eastbound on Innisfil Beach Rd. struck him — and then left the scene.

How can this happen?


Cortes, who drives for Lewis Heavy Towing in Barrie, is not easily overlooked. At 6-foot-5 and  and 350 pounds, he’s a mountain of a man; of course, that’s mostly all heart, as anyone who knows his work as a Good Samaritan on the roads will tell you.


At the time he was hit, Cortes was standing by a bright yellow bus. “And I’m covered in reflectives,” he said over the phone, referring to the highly-visible safety markings on his work clothes.


It was a sunny day around 1 p.m., with no untoward weather conditions.

How could any driver not see him?


The impact sent Cortes’ headset, shoes and tools flying into a ditch. Terrified, he scooted under his truck for safety and called 911. He was transported to hospital.


Cortes said he thinks he might have been hit by a side mirror or the edge of the car’s bumper. Either way, he added, a few inches to one side and he’d likely be dead.


Is there any way the driver didn’t know he or she hit something?


“Impossible. There’s no way,” said Cortes. “They 100% know they hit something. And there was a lot of traffic that day. Somebody has to have seen it. Why didn’t anyone stop?


“This s— really has to stop.”


He described the incident as life-changing. “You think it will never happen to you.”

Cortes is angry and worried about his fellow tow drivers, but he still tends to look for the positive in all this. He’s grateful, for example, that the school bus he was about to tow had safely let off all the kids who’d been on it that day.


He’s grateful to have got out of this incident with nothing worse than badly-bruised ribs and kidneys — super painful, but not life threatening.


He’s philosophical about why the driver didn’t stop: Maybe it was a young person, someone without insurance, someone scared of what would happen.


“You think about these things every day. When I go out to do my job, I try to be as safe as humanly possible. I just don’t know how someone could not have seen that bus.”


A Barrie 411 post on Facebook about the incident Tuesday has drawn hundreds of comments and almost 900 shares. Cortes has heard from concerned tow truck drivers from all over Canada and the U.S., adding the drivers constitute a fraternity of sorts.





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As this kind of incident is part of my ongoing research, may I ask what side of the Landoll was Mr. Cortes working, the traffic side or non-traffic side? Were the police on-scene and were any cones flares or reflectors set before the loading action commenced? 


I'm glad that Mr. Cortes was able to make it to safety and pray for his speedy recovery.     R. 

Randall C. Resch

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Ok, I am confused as I notice the painted lines on the pavement.


Is this a merge lane? If so then why do the broken lines continue.


We do not generally find this in the US, Is this common in Canada?

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Get well soon Operator Cortez. It certainly seems to be open season on tow operators lately. Its getting ridiculous. DOT and Law enforcement agencies really need to do something like ENFORCE all your B.S. move over laws. we are getting killed and maimed out there by the handful every month But if a law enforcement officer gets hit its headline news. At least this is what i see around my region. I know of 4 local instances of operators or their equipment getting hit in the last 3 weeks n not one word is mentioned in any news outlet. A troopers vehicle was struck by a semi the other day and its been all over the local news. All of this is of course my personal opinion and we all know what thats worth to anyone... sorry to vent but its frustrating... Again get well soon Operator Cortez.


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Your vent is spot-on accurate and well-deserved Grumps. At the rate fatality numbers are climbing ... the industry may reach that average of 60-towers killed ... and we still have to fight through three major holidays.     R.


Randall C. Resch

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