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Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Strange, Sad News

An Arizona tow truck driver, Cecil Pugh, was shot and killed yesterday in a freak accident. The 59-year old was driving his truck when he was hit by a bullet that came from a rifle being cleaned by its owner. The gun owner didn't think the gun was loaded. From the Associated Press story: "The rifle discharged sending a bullet through a mobile home window covering, a window and across 29th Avenue where it struck the windshield of a tow truck that was traveling east." Read the whole story here.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

The One That Didn't Get Away

In this story, a woman drove all the way through a car wash and over a retaining wall. A nice new truck owned by David Wilkens of Jerry's Towing in Wisconsin was put into use for the job. Check out the pictures and article from the Hudson Star-Observer here.

NY Tower To Be Honored on the Wall of the Fallen

Here's some more information about Donald Tubia, a New York tow truck driver who was killed in 1997. He'll be honored at the ceremony this weekend at the International Towing and Recovery Hall of Fame and Museum.

Read one story by Eric Monnat of the Herkimer Telegram here.

Read another story from The Observer-Dispatch here.

Heartwarming Story for the Day

A round of applause goes to the employees and management of Jack's Towing of Missouri for their role in helping complete a bus stop shelter for school kids in their community. This is a great example of how towing companies can build a positive image AND garner some free publicity.

Nice story by Dan Hassett in the Waynesville Daily Guide about this project headed up by one mom named Pam Fry. Read it here.

Monday, September 10, 2007

Yep, they're out there...

Nice profile on tow truck driver Melissa White who works for Auto Aide of Corona, CA by Jerry Soifer of The Press-Enterprise. Good pictures by photographer David Bauman, too.

According to the story, White is one of two female operators who works for Auto Aide. Thumbs up to general manager Robert Young for his matter-of-fact attitude. He's quoted: "There's companies everywhere that have women in the towing industry. She (White) gets her job done. That's all we look for."

Thumbs up, as well, to Bob Coleman of Valley Wide Towing in Moreno Valley who initially hired and trained White. He's quoted: "It was a good hire," Coleman said. "She did a good job."

Read the full story here.

Wow! Two articles about towing in one day!

Kudos to Indiana's The Journal Gazette writer K.O. Jackson for two stories today on the towing industry!

Read the first one about the towing industry in general with comments from the chairman of the Indiana Towing and Wrecker Association, Richard Mullins.

Read the second one about "rogue" towers (featuring comments Harriet Cooley of the TRAA) here.

Saturday, September 8, 2007

Yikes!

A four-year old boy jumped from a SUV in Illinois after it was repossessed. The child, who was in the back seat, had not been seen by the the two men from Select Recovery of Aurora. Luckily, the child was not severely injured. Read the full story from The Beacon News here.

I am not sure why a four-year old was left unattended in a vehicle though.

Hero or Bum? ***UPDATED***

That's how a Pennsylvania tow truck driver says he has been characterized by lawyers in this story by James Conmy in The Citizens Voice of Wilkes-Barre, PA.

Last September, Bob Kadluboski rammed his City-wide Towing truck into a vehicle that had been involved in a crime. It was the suspect's girlfriend's car and only she was in it.

A jury is now involved to determine whether or not Kadluboski's intent was to injure the woman in the car.

He says he was only stopping the vehicle so that it would not leave the parking lot and cause a police chase that could potentially injure others.

Seems Kadluboski has been involved with two other such incidents in the past, including using his tow truck to stop a car carrying two people suspected in a shooting spree. Just before Kadluboski's trial started on Friday, one of the shooters was given a sentence of 10 to 20 years in prison for that crime.

The jury will deliberate on Monday after closing statements.


***UPDATE*** Evidently, he's a Hero... Kadluboski was acquitted of assault charges in this case. Read the story in the Times Leader here.

Thursday, September 6, 2007

Illinois "Truth In Towing" Law Signed

Designed to protect consumers at an accident scene from "pirate" towing companies, this consumer-protection legislation was signed recently by Illinois governor Rod Blagojevich. It actually goes into effect on July 1, 2008.

Towing companies or "safety relocators" who arrive on an accident scene must:
_be licensed by the Illinois Commerce Commission.
_receive authorization from the vehicle's owner or operator before towing occurs and disclose the impound location, any fees that will be incurred, and provide a list of the owner's or vehicle operator's rights. (These rights must also be posted on a sign at the impound lot.)
_have the company name, address and phone number lettered on the tow truck.

There are other regulations, but it seems that most reputable companies will have most of these requirements already covered. Read the full story by Phil Kadner of The Daily Southtown here.