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From TowTimes.com - Canadian Tow Operator Killed While Working on Vehicle


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Canadian tow operator Peter Szymczak, 30, was killed Monday, April 6, at approximately 2 p.m. when he was crushed by a vehicle that fell from his tow truck on Southcote Road in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada.

According to news reports, Szymczak was removing a catalytic converter from an older vehicle outside his home when the incident occurred. He died at the scene.

Szymczak, who was employed at Fast and Friendly Roadside Services, was described as a hard-worker who provided for his wife and three young children.

The Ministry of Labour is investigating the incident.

 

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A 30-year-old Hamilton man, killed when he was crushed by a vehicle that fell off his tow truck, is being remembered as a hard-working man and provider for his three young children.

 

Peter Szymczak was working on a vehicle outside his home on Southcote Road Monday afternoon when, for an unknown reason, it unexpectedly detached from his tow truck and fell on him.

 

Szymczak worked for Fast and Friendly Roadside Services. Several family friends identified him to The Spectator.

 

Emergency services were called to Southcote Road, near Butter Road, around 2 p.m. April 6. He was pronounced dead at the scene, said Hamilton police Const. Jerome Stewart.

 

The Ministry of Labour is investigating.

 

“It was reported a worker was fatally injured while working under a vehicle,” said ministry spokesperson Janet Deline.

 

Mike Shea, whose family has known Szymczak and his family for many years, said Szymczak often bought older vehicles and stripped parts to sell. When the accident happened he was working to remove a catalytic converter.

 

Szymczak’s wife called for help, with his dad and brother rushing to the scene. Szymczak is the father of three young boys.

 

“He was a hard-working kid,” Shea said, adding that he was always working and always there to help family and friends.

 

Shea’s daughter, Samantha, said she has known Szymczak and his brother since she was 18.

 

“Peter was an amazing man, great father and husband,” she said. “He would do anything for friends and family.”

 

She said she spoke with his brother Mike who was too shaken up to talk right now.

 

Many friends and those from the towing industry posted messages remembering the young man on social media. In one post he was remembered as a “young wonderful soul.”

 

In a post on Towing in Canada Facebook page, Szymczak was described as a “smart young kid full of interest.”

 

“Almost every tow truck driver in Hamilton has met him though they do not know him they only knew ‘Peter the chaser,’” Brian Stephenson wrote.

 

“This was truly a horrible and senseless tragedy and a reminder to all of us to never let your guard down. My family and drivers will always remember Peter in a good way.”

 

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I so greatly fear the statement ... "for an unknown reason, it unexpectedly detached from his tow truck and fell on him." Let this be yet ANOTHER reminder that working under raised vehicles is a deadly risk where  seven towers have lost their lives in the same, 'underneath", process. I'm really sorry the young man lost his life in such a simple tow related activity. Going under a lifted vehicle for any reason is always a huge risk. I personally have policy and procedure that my drivers don't go under vehicles lifted by a tow truck during process of tow and recovery. When it comes to making ready for towing processes, vehicle's are to be loaded accordingly on dollies and no attempt to drop light-duty linkages or driveshafts from underneath are allowed. Christine and I send our prayers to the Szymazak family and the company he worked for. So sad.     R.

Randall C. Resch

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