Tuesday, July 31, 2007

We knew it all along...

There are really some nice guys out there towing! Cool story about Stan, a Canadian tow truck driver, on GeekDad's blog. Check it out here.

Family of Burned Tow Truck Driver May Sue

According to a story at www.1010wins.com, the family of the 21-year old New York tow truck driver whose truck was caught in the steam pipe explosion in Manhattan on July 18 may sue the utility company, Consolidated Edison, and the city.

Gregory McCullough suffered third-degree burns to 80% of his body and remains hospitalized in a medically-induced coma. His passenger, Judith Bailey, suffered third-degree burns to 30% of her body and is said to be doing better.

Read the full story here.

Hancock Lawsuit Dropped Against Tow Truck Driver and Others

The attorney for the family of former St. Louis Cardinals pitcher, Josh Hancock who died in April after crashing into the back of stopped tow truck, has withdrawn the wrongful death lawsuit against the tow truck driver and the towing company. The lawsuit, filed in May by Hancock's father, also listed the restaurant where Hancock was drinking prior to the incident, the restaurant's manager, and the motorist with the disabled vehicle who was being helped by the tow truck driver, Jacob Hargrove.

Read the full story on STLtoday.com by Todd C. Frankel from the St. Louis Post-Dispatch here.

***8/2/07 Update: Read a more detailed story, also by Todd C. Frankel, here.***

Chuckle of the Day

Picture listed as "Arab Tow Truck!" found at hotboat.com. Check it out here :)

2007 Tow Expo San Antonio: Convention of the Week

...as listed by MySanAntonio.com. Starts Thursday, August 2nd. Read the info here.

Friday, July 27, 2007

For the Good Deeds File...

Here's a great story by Leah Boyd on Cleveland.com about Norm and Sue Kirchner and their crew at St. Clair Auto Body and the help they provided to the monks of St. Herman's House of Hospitality, a Cleveland monastery. The monks' only means of transportation, a donated 1995 Jeep Cherokee named 'Godsend', was stolen. After it was found, the jeep was towed and stored by St. Clair Auto Body. There was about $2,500 worth of damage.

Norm Kirchner, manager of St. Clair Auto Body, said he and his wife, Sue, were happy to repair the vehicle without charge.

"We have all the resources to fix it," Sue Kirchner said. "When I found out who it belonged to, I wanted to help."

Kirchner added, "St. Herman's helps out a lot of people. Where are they going to get their help?"

Read the full story here.

Monday, July 23, 2007


...goes to the unnamed Texas tow truck driver who gave police a lead on a vehicle that ran over a four-year old boy.

According to the story by KTRK TV/KTRK DT Houston ABC 13:
"'The vehicle did not stop, it fled the scene,' said Gary Chelette with Harris County Sheriff's office. 'A wrecker driver observed the vehicle and followed the vehicle for a few minutes and was able to get a complete tag off the vehicle.'"

Read the full story here.

Friday, July 20, 2007

Think you've done some unusual recoveries?

Look at the "Weird Crashes" section of this website called "Wrecked Exotics."

If you want to cry, check out the pics of all the crashed high-dollar vehicles.

NY Tow Truck Driver in Critical Condition

The tow truck driver caught in the steam pipe explosion in Manhattan on Wednesday is 23-year old Gregory McCullough.

According to the story at NYdailynews.com, "By the time firefighters got to the scene, McCullough had freed himself from the vehicle. But he did not escape unharmed.

The 400-degree steam scalded 80% of his body, leaving him in critical condition at New York-Presbyterian Hospital Weill Cornell.

His body was grossly swollen, and doctors induced a coma to relieve his agony, relatives said."

Read the full story here.

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Best Wishes on a Speedy Recovery...

...go to Jerry Splawn, a Texas tow truck driver, who was shot six times while towing a car from a Dallas apartment complex. According to a report by NBC 5 in Dallas/Ft. Worth, the young husband and father has been released from the hospital nearly three weeks after the incident. Though the shooters are still at large, Splawn was able to take some pictures of the people before driving himself to an emergency room. He was on life support for several days, still has one of the bullets lodged in his body, and is on bed rest for the next month. Read the story here.

...also go to the unnamed tow truck driver in New York whose truck was engulfed in an explosion of steam pipe in mid-Manhattan on Wednesday, July 18. According to the New York Times story, the scalding blast flipped the red tow truck. It landed in the 35' by 40' crater in the pavement. See pictures of the truck and read the story here.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

You gotta wonder...

What kind of "tow truck documentary" is this?

Applause, please!

Indianapolis, IN TV News Station Highlights Move Over Law - Kudos to WISH-TV 8, a CBS affiliate in Indianapolis, for running a story on the dangers to tow truck operators when motorists do not heed Indiana's Move Over law.

Check out the story by Jeannie Crofts here.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Editor’s Best Picks

Doggone Nice - Kudos to New Jersey tow truck driver Pete Riffell who discovered a female Chihuahua named Bandit inside the cab of a 2006 Peterbilt tractor with flatbed trailer after it was towed from the scene of an accident.

Bandit’s owner, Dale Hunter of Oklahoma, had suffered a mild stroke while en route to his delivery point. Hunter was able to bring his truck to a stop on the shoulder of the roadway after colliding with some construction barriers and was transported to a local hospital. At the time of the article, Hunter was recovering well.

Police overlooked the small dog, which remained in the cab until Riffell found her. Riffell contacted state police and was asked to keep Bandit until Hunter or his family could retrieve her. Bandit will join Riffell’s two dogs, a German shepherd and a border collie, at Riffell’s Sussex County home.

- Condensed from a story by Tehani Schneider in the Daily Record on 7/11/07. Read the article here.

Everyday Hero – Canadian tow truck driver Peter Campbell was credited for saving the life of a nine-year old girl on Friday, July 6. The girl was traveling with her father and younger sister when their 2006 Mazda pickup truck went off the road, ending upside down in a swamp.

Campbell came upon the scene minutes later. He was able to retrieve the vehicle, crack the windshield and rescue the older girl. Sadly, the girl’s father and sister did not survive the accident.

-Condensed from a story by Laura Fraser in The ChronicleHerald on 7/9/07. Read the article here.

Movin’ It Over In MS – Cheers to Mississippi governor Haley Barbour whose signature recently put into effect the state’s Move Over law. Effective July 1, motorists are required to keep a safe distance and slow speeds when emergency vehicles are stopped on the roadside with lights flashing. The regulation covers tow trucks, in addition to police, highway maintenance vehicles and other emergency personnel.

-Condensed from a story at Truck Driver Industry News on 6/28/07. Read the article here.

Short Hauls

Car Goes Off Cliff…Into Tow Yard – Four people in a Ford Focus went over the curb in a parking lot, through a fence and down a 25-foot embankment into the yard of Blue Hills Towing in Quincy, MA.

According to the July 16 report in ThePatriot Ledger: “Jackie Wuestefeld, owner of Blue Hills Towing, said that employee Chris Baker was releasing a towed car Sunday evening when he heard a screech and saw the Focus land upside down on the three cars.

‘‘He said he heard screeching tires, and he looked up to see what it was, and with that (the car) slid under the fence,’’ she said.

Wuestefeld said a man and a woman in the front of the car were hanging upside down, suspended by their seat belts. She said that the woman was complaining of difficulty breathing and Baker tried to hold her and the man up until firefighters arrived to free them.”

The four people were taken to the hospital and Blue Hills Towing handled the recovery of the vehicle.

-Condensed from a 7/16/07 staff story in The Patriot Ledger. Read the article here.

***7/18/07 Update: A story by WHDH-TV Channel 7 in Boston reported that the car's occupants are all ok. Read it here. ***

Tow Truck Goes Off Cliff – A tow truck in Wilkesboro, NC crashed down a 50-foot embankment in a steep section of Highway 18 after its brakes failed while towing a Schwan’s refrigerated truck.

The rescue of the tow truck driver and the Schwan’s driver who was the passenger was slowed, taking approximately 90 minutes, since at least one of the Schwan’s truck’s propane tanks was ruptured. The delivery truck runs on propane and also uses it to run the refrigerator unit. Houses in the area were evacuated until the accident was cleared.

The Schwan’s driver, Amanda Woody, was most severely injured and was airlifted to Winston-Salem medical facility and treated for a broken arm, broken ankle, bumps and bruises. The 45-year old tow truck driver, Harry McCall, fared better with only minor injuries and was taken by ambulance to a regional hospital.

-Condensed from one story on 7/12/07 and one story on 7/13/07 at the 3WC Radio News Blog. Read it here.

Tow Truck Driver May Countersue – After St. Louis Cardinals pitcher Josh Hancock crashed into the back of a tow truck on April 29 and was killed, his family included the tow truck’s driver in a wrongful death lawsuit.

A lawyer for Jacob Hargrove, the tow truck driver, has called for the suit to be dropped against his client and Eddie’s Towing or a countersuit would be filed.

-Condensed from a 6/21/07 story by Cheryl Wittenauer of The Associated Press in The State Journal-Register. Read the full story here.

Action Taken Against ‘Pirate’ Tow Firms in IL – A new law, Illinois Commercial Safety Towing Law (Senate Bill 435), aimed at protecting people whose cars have been involved in accidents from ‘pirate’ towing companies passed the Illinois General Assembly on June 12.

In the column by Phil Kadner, “Towing companies monitoring police calls would send solicitors to accident scenes, find out if the drivers had insurance and assure motorists any tow charges would be covered by their insurance companies.”

Other problems cited included vehicles being towed to undisclosed storage lots after owners requested tows to body shops or homes; excessive fees being charged for towing unbeknownst by owners; “cash only” retrieval of impounded vehicles.

The law will “require that towing companies disclose their charges up front, identify where the disabled vehicle is being towed and obtain written authorization from the vehicle owner.” Companies must accept all major credit cards and provide an itemized invoice upon request.

Penalties for violating the law “can result in suspension of the towing operators' license by the ICC and penalties of up to $1,000 for each violation. Employees of towing firms who violate the law can be fined $100 to $500 for each violation.”

-Condensed from a column by Phil Kadner in Daily Southtown on 6/13/07. Read the full article here.

Farewell, Friend

Duane F. “Dewey” Rogers, Sr. – A Class of 1994 inductee to the International Towing Hall of Fame, Duane F. “Dewey” Rogers, Sr. of Dewey’s Towing Service in South Beloit, WI passed away on July 10.

According to the Beloit Daily News article, “Dewey Rogers became involved with the Wisconsin Towing Association from its inception in 1967, serving as a Board of Director, Chairman, Past Chairman and an honorary director at the time of his death.

Rogers’ family will continue to run the business that he founded in 1955.

-Condensed from a story on 7/14/07 by Hillary Wundrow in the Beloit Daily News. Read the full article here.

Signs that it’s Summer

Watermelon Truck Recovery in Washington State on July 14. Read more here.

Is this really a selling point?

Found on eBay:

Men’s Used COLORADO Casual Oxfords .. Size 9.5 M .. Thick Unlined Brown Leather .. Dark Brown Leather Laces .. Great Non-Skid Rubber Soles .. Scuffed & Dirty .. Nicely Used Condition From Frenchtown MT “Big Rig” Tow Truck Driver

Sorry, folks. Bidding on this item has already ended, but you can check it out here.