Tuesday, October 28, 2008

911 Tape From Lake Park, FL Tow Yard Shooting Released

Here's the story from the Palm Beach Post:

Palm Beach Post Staff Writer

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

LAKE PARK — The first time an angry man came to Lake Park Towing and then left last Wednesday, the owner of the tow yard can be heard calling police and telling them the man had "scared the heck" out of her.

When she called back because the man had returned, gunshots could be heard as the man fired outside and the owner, 53-year-old Kathryn Gadoury, was under a desk bleeding with a bullet in her back.

"Honey I got hit. Please! I'm hurt. I'm sorry," Gadoury told dispatchers in the 911 calls from the shooting incident, released today by the Palm Beach County Sheriff's Office.

The sheriff's said 51-year-old Edward Voltz, of suburban West Palm Beach, was the customer outside firing with a semi-automatic weapon. Deputies eventually shot Voltz several times after he refused to drop his weapon, according to sheriff's reports.

In the 911 call, dispatchers question Gadoury about the suspect and she asks other employees what Voltz is wearing and tells them to stay out of sight even as more gunshots ring out.

"I've been shot. I'm bleeding," she said. "He's outside. He's firing off shots left and right."

The sheriff's office released a second call from a man, whose name has not been released. He was outside with the other injured employee, Lisa Hedrick, who was shot in the arm.

"I hear the cop cars coming and I hear gunshots. That's all I know," the man said. He goes on to comfort Hedrick. "I got you baby. You're going to be OK."

Voltz, who underwent surgery at St. Mary's Medical Center, is now being held at the Palm Beach County Jail on several attempted murder charges. Sheriff's detectives say Voltz had tried to come to the yard earlier in the morning saying he needed to get his daughter's medicine out of his car but employees told him to come back with his driver license.

Man to Stand Trial in Death of Canadian Tow Truck Driver

Here's the story from the Winnipeg Sun:

A Winnipeg man has been ordered to stand trial for his alleged role in a two-vehicle collision that killed tow-truck driver Amanda Frizzley.

Steve Watkins, 22, was ordered to stand trial following a three-day preliminary hearing last week. A publication ban prohibits revealing certain details of the hearing, presided over by provincial court Judge Tim Preston.

Watkins has been charged with impaired driving causing death, impaired driving causing bodily harm, dangerous driving causing death and driving over the legal limit.

Frizzley, 26, was killed during the early hours of Sept. 30, 2007 when a GMC Jimmy — allegedly speeding — collided with her Dr. Hook Towing truck at the intersection of York Avenue and Donald Street in downtown Winnipeg.

Watkins suffered serious injuries in the crash and spent weeks in hospital, initially in serious but stable condition.

Footage from a surveillance camera at the nearby Best Western Charterhouse Hotel showed a westbound sport utility vehicle — travelling the wrong direction on York, a one-way street — crashing into Frizzley’s truck as she was southbound on Donald, the hotel’s manager previously told the Winnipeg Sun.

The truck overturned with Frizzley and a passenger inside. The passenger suffered non-life threatening injuries.

Friday, October 24, 2008

JerrDan Receives PA Recognition

Here's the story from TrailerBodyBuilders.com:

JerrDan Receives Award in Pennsylvania

Oct 23, 2008 4:17 PM

JerrDan Corporation, an Oshkosh Corporation company, received the 2008 Franklin County (Pennsylvania) Area Development Corporation (FCADC) Large Business Award. JerrDan was awarded by the FCADC Industry Appreciation Committee.

The award criteria for large businesses are those that employ more than 100 full-time employees, have been in operation for at least five consecutive years and contribute to the overall economic and civic well being of Franklin County.

“At JerrDan, we pride ourselves on our dedicated, determined and talented employees. JerrDan is committed to investing in our people and business in support of sustained growth, world-class competitiveness, and ultimately our future,” said Mike Baer, vice president of Operations, who accepted the award on behalf of JerrDan management attending the event. “We believe in being innovative and creative while delivering high quality products and services.”

In 2008, JerrDan invested $4.5 million in improvements and expansion to their wrecker production facility located on Molly Pitcher Hwy in Greencastle. The development provides JerrDan with additional capacity to meet the growing demand and streamline the wrecker product manufacturing processes in line with the company’s “lean” manufacturing initiative.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Shooter Wounds Two Tow Company Employees in FL

Thankfully, no one was killed in this insane situation yesterday morning. Our best wishes for an quick and full recovery to the employees of Lake Park Towing. Let's hope the shooter is prosecuted to the full extent of the law for his actions. Here's the story from the Palm Beach Post:

LAKE PARK — A man wielding a semiautomatic assault rifle went on a rampage at a tow yard Wednesday morning, wounding two employees and firing at a sheriff's deputy before the deputy shot him down in a brief gunfight, authorities said.

Edward F. Voltz Jr., 51, of suburban West Palm Beach twice drove to Lake Park Towing, at 803 13th St., to confront employees Wednesday, a Palm Beach County sheriff's spokesman said.

On his second visit, just after 9 a.m., Voltz told the owner that he needed to retrieve his daughter's medicine from her car, which had been towed to the yard after a crash Tuesday night. Voltz said that without the medicine, his daughter would die in three hours, said Lisa Hedrick, a dispatcher for the tow company.

Skeptical employees told him to come back with a driver license.

"We thought he was going back out for proof of ownership," Hedrick said. "Instead, he came back and started shooting."

In the moments that followed, Hedrick and her boss, Kathryn Gadoury, were wounded as they tried to flee the gunman, who squeezed off shots without saying a word, sheriff's officials said.

Both women were taken to nearby St. Mary's Medical Center, where Gadoury, 53, was treated for a gunshot wound to the hip. Hedrick was shot through the elbow. Both women were released from the hospital Wednesday afternoon.

Voltz, riddled with bullets after a gunfight with a sheriff's deputy, also was taken to St. Mary's. He underwent emergency surgery and was expected to survive, sheriff's officials said.

Voltz was "heavily armed" when he returned to the tow company, said Sheriff Ric Bradshaw, who would not say how many or what types of weapons Voltz carried.

When Voltz started shooting, Hedrick said, she huddled under a desk with Gadoury, a truck driver and another employee.

"I lost count after 15," Hedrick said. "He finished off one clip and reloaded the second."

Employees dialed 911 as the company truck driver retrieved a handgun. He fired at Voltz, Bradshaw said, but it wasn't clear whether any of those shots hit the gunman.

Next door, Jill Chisholm, who manages the office at Ledbetter Masonry, heard five or six sharp cracks and looked out the window.

"I saw the shooter come out to get in his vehicle," said Chisholm, who described the gunman as a light-haired, scruffy-looking man who carried an AK-47-style rifle. "Then he walked back in, and I heard some more gunshots, but they were a different sound, maybe three or four."

As Voltz walked back to his blue Chevrolet Suburban sport utility vehicle, the deputy drove up, Chisholm said.

The deputy saw Voltz carrying a pistol and the assault rifle and watched as he leaned into the SUV and dropped the handgun, Bradshaw said. Still standing by the window, just 50 yards away, Chisholm said, she saw the deputy grab the gunman.

"The guy fell to the ground," Chisholm said. "He has the big gun in his hand, and he shoots at the officer. The officer fires back.

"Then the gentleman got up, and he went to the back of the vehicle. The officer went around the driver side of the vehicle, and they were still exchanging gunfire.

"I saw the shooter with the blood on him, and then he went down to the ground, but he was still shooting. There were a lot of shots."

When the shooting stopped, Chisholm said, she looked up to see Voltz on the ground, the deputy standing over him.

"The suspect pointed the rifle at him," Bradshaw said. "The bottom line is the deputy defended himself."

The deputy, whose name was not released Wednesday, has been with the sheriff's office since October 2005 and was assigned to patrol the Lake Park district, sheriff's spokeswoman Teri Barbera said. He was placed on paid administrative leave, routine after police shootings.

On Wednesday afternoon, Tom Gadoury, 25, who co-owns the business with his mother, stopped by the yard to take stock. He said doctors released Kathryn Gadoury with a bullet embedded in her hip. She declined to talk about the shooting.

"Right now she's in a lot of pain, and she's trying to be comfortable," he said, adding that doctors will decide in the next few days whether to remove the bullet.

Bob Miller, a family friend who said he got out of the towing business two years ago because he was tired of dealing with angry people, described Kathy Gadoury as "really tough" but "a real sweetheart."

Authorities still were investigating what set Voltz off. A husband and father, he never had been arrested in Florida, state records show. His wife filed for divorce in June 2007, and proceedings are pending, according to court documents.

Annette Voltz, a nurse, said she has not seen her husband since August 2007. She said she didn't think their daughter was sick.

Out of the hospital, Hedrick, the dispatcher, returned to the tow yard Wednesday afternoon. In the future, she said, "the customer's always right."

Staff writers Bill DiPaolo and Sonja Isger and staff researcher Niels Heimeriks contributed to this story.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Follow Up to Sept. 24th Post: Home Fire May Have Killed Suspect in Attempted Murder

Interesting. In September, a tow truck driver was shot (thankfully, not fatally) at this Phoenix, AZ property. Read the post from 9/24 here. Here's the story from azcentral.com:
A man found dead in his burning home Tuesday is believed to be the same man charged recently with attempted murder after the shooting of a tow truck driver at the same Phoenix property, police said.

Police did not identify Jesse Corman by name, but believe his body is the one recovered from his home in the 3700 block of West Dailey Street.

Phoenix firefighters responded to the blaze before 8 p.m. Tuesday in the neighborhood near Thunderbird Road and 35th Avenue. Corman's wife suffered minor burns and smoke inhalation, police said. She told first-responders that Corman was despondent. Neighbors also reported that Corman was seen sauntering suspiciously outside the home.

"He was walking around the house with a lighter in his hand saying he wanted to end it all," Phoenix police Sgt. Tommy Thompson said.

Corman, 28, faced felony charges of attempted murder, endangerment and discharging a firearm in city limits, according to court records after the Sept. 21 shooting of the tow truck driver. His bail had been set at $200,000 by Maricopa County Court Commissioner Jerry Bernstein.

Corman was accused of shooting the driver with an assault rifle before barricading himself at the home. During the incident, he also reportedly flashed a laser and shot fireworks at an overhead police helicopter.

Neighbors said Corman lived on Dailey Street most of his life. His father lives next-door.

Some were shocked to see he was out of jail after the prior incident that frightened residents in the area.

"I just don't know why after he shot the tow truck driver, held the neighborhood up all night and kept an arsenal of guns in his home, why he would be let out of jail," said next-door neighbor Colleen Dwyer.

Register NOW for ExtricationFest 2009

We are on our way again! With 2008 being only our second year, we had students representing twenty states and two countries and we have begun to see it again this year, with registrations in from Georgia, Calf. and Texas.

New Venue In an effort to better support the needs of both our students and exhibitors we have moved our venue to the Will Rogers Coliseum in downtown Ft Worth. Among many other things, this new location will eliminate the noise and distractions we experienced during classes, while offering exhibitors a much greater exposure. This new location is centered in the heart of the Ft Worth cultural district providing students and vendors with a very enjoyable week end of fun, fellowship and a world of learning.

Exhibit Hall The exhibit hall located on the main floor of the coliseum will be open:
Friday Feb 27th from 9:00 - 5:00 pm Saturday Feb 28th from 9:00 - 5:00pm
Vendors will be allowed to move in on Thursday Feb 26th from 8:00 - 5:00 pm.
Student Registration Student Registration will be Friday Feb 27th from 9:00 to 4:00 pm. At the TEEX registration booth located at the main entrance

Classes Schedules Notice: In an effort to increase hands-on training time, all class room sessions for each level will be held:
Friday evening from 6:00 pm – 10:00 pm
Students must attend class room sessions to participate in the hands-on classes.
Hands on classes for all auto extrication levels will be:
Saturday 8:00 – 5:00 pm Sunday 8:00 - 4:00 pm
Hands on classes for Big Rig Rescue will be:
Saturday 8:00 – 5:00pm.

Sponsorship Packages are available (Details are listed on the website)
Vendors Booths and Truck Spaces are also available inside the coliseum
You will also find we have a completely new website that is much easier to navigate. It is still the same address.

All details and registration forms are now online at www.midsouthrescue.org

Many thanks to: Mat Jack our first Gold sponsor of ExtricationFest! 2009

Monday, October 20, 2008

IN Deputy Killed While Assisting Tow Truck Operator

Sadly, Deputy Sara Jones of Monroe County, Ind. died this weekend while directing traffic at an accident scene where a tow truck operator was recovering a vehicle. Indiana does have a 'Move Over' law in place. Our condolences to her family and acquaintances.
Here's the WTHR news story:

Bloomington - A Monroe County deputy died Sunday afternoon after she was struck by a vehicle while on duty Friday night.

Deputy Sara Jones, who had joined the sheriff's department earlier in the year, was pronounced dead at 12:15 Sunday afternoon.

Shortly after 10:30 pm Friday, Deputy Jones was directing traffic at the scene of an accident on SR 45 just west of Bloomington when she was struck by a Jeep driven by 16-year-old Bree Myers of Bloomington.

Deputy Jones had been assisting a local wrecker service pull a vehicle from a ravine on the north side of the road. While Deputy Jones was directing traffic, Myers' Jeep struck Jones with the left front of her vehicle.

"I mean, I have never seen anything like that," wrecker driver Mike Sims said. "I was pulling the truck up out of the ditch and I heard the sound of glass breaking. When I turned to look, I seen the officer being struck by the vehicle."

Sims said there was plenty of warning for drivers to slow down at the scene of the first accident.

"[I] had my lights on, sheriff's car was behind me and had its lights on and she was carrying a flashlight," he said.

Police say Myers was driving 45 miles an hour when she struck Jones - five miles an hour below the posted speed limit.

"Well, you get a lot of gawkers when you are working and accidents," Sims said. "It could be she wasn't paying attention to the road and was looking to see what was going on and didn't see her."

Monroe County Sheriff James Kennedy said the accident is far too common.

"Accident scenes are extremely dangerous," he said. "We have lost more police officers in the last few years from traffic accidents and being out on the highway than any other single cause."

The impact from the Jeep knocked the deputy's badge off her shirt. She suffered multiple injuries from the crash and was transported by ambulance to Bloomington Hospital. Jones was air-lifted to Methodist Hospital in Indianapolis in critical condition Saturday night.

Myers was transported to Bloomington Hospital but was not injured. State Road 45 was shut down until Indiana State Police investigators could re-construct the crash scene.

Arrangements for Deputy Jones are pending, according to Sheriff Kennedy. Black flags were placed on sheriff's cars in the county and flags were lowered to half staff Sunday afternoon in memory of the fallen deputy.

Marty Decker, the vice president of F.O.P. #88 in Monroe County, issued a reminder to residents that they are not at this time collecting for any kind of fund for Deputy Jones.

"If or when we would do so, we will most certainly not do such a solicitation by phone," Decker said in a statement e-mailed to Eyewitness News.

A "Move Over Law" Being Sought in MA After Trooper is Injured

The law would include tow truck drivers. Our best wishes for a quick recovery to Trooper Cresta. Here's the story from boston.com:
State Trooper Dana Cresta had no time to run. As he stood in the breakdown lane of the Massachusetts Turnpike, investigating a car crash early yesterday, a fast-moving 2008 Nissan Maxima careened into him. The impact sent Cresta through the Nissan's windshield.

The trooper survived, but he sustained serious injuries and was taken to Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center.

The accident was a prime example of the dangers troopers face when they pull over to investigate crashes or make traffic stops. Now, some legislators have renewed calls for a state law that would require highway drivers to move out of the right lane when emergency vehicle lights are flashing.

State Representative Christine E. Canavan, a Brockton Democrat, said she has been sponsoring the legislation, called the "Move Over Law," because too many police officers and tow truck drivers are hurt or killed on the side of the highway every year by errant drivers.

"So many states do something and we don't," Canavan said yesterday.

Her proposal would require drivers on highways of two lanes or more to give wide berth to emergency vehicles parked on the roads with their lights flashing. Drivers would also be required to slow to speeds 20 miles per hour less than the posted speed limit, or face a ticket of at least $100.

Canavan said she has sponsored the legislation four times in eight years. Although she has never heard opposition to the measure, it has failed to win approval. She said her current bill is mired in a legislative committee, where it has been included in omnibus bills.

Forty-three states have passed similar laws, according to the group Move Over America, a coalition of national law enforcement agencies that advocate for the measure. Earlier this year, New Hampshire enacted the law, expanding it to include construction trucks with amber lights used by its Department of Transportation workers. Massachusetts, Connecticut and Rhode Island, as well as Delaware, Hawaii, and Nebraska, are the only states, as well as Washington, D.C., that have not.

The Massachusetts Association of Chiefs of Police supports the Move Over America law. President A. Wayne Sampson laughed when asked whether he thought the Legislature would approve the measure.

"We're not aware of a single person opposed to it," he said.

Sampson said some research by national law enforcement groups has shown that drivers are sometimes mesmerized by the spinning lights on emergency vehicles and inadvertently drive toward them on the highway.

"People focus on the lights and the brighter they are, the more it distracts them," he said. "We have deep concerns for every officer that makes a moving stop at any time of day."

The Executive Office of Public Safety and Security, which oversees the State Police, also supports the legislation. Spokesman Terrell Harris said he did not have information on the number of police officers injured each year on highways, but the legislation is considered to be a benefit to police safety.

Harris said it is impossible to say whether the law would have prevented yesterday's crash. For one thing, the driver of Nissan was charged with drunk driving. For another, drivers don't always abide by traffic laws.

"Incidents like this are always discouraging to the people who try to keep us safe," Harris said. "But those people aren't going to let it stop them from going out and doing their jobs to the best of their ability."

The Towing and Recovery Association of America estimates that about 55 tow truck drivers are killed each year in the United States.

In Massachusetts, two tow truck drivers were killed in 2004 as they sat in the breakdown lane along Interstate 495 in Brockton.

Timothy Kelly, 23, of Bridgewater, and Jarrod Drew, 24, of Brockton, worked for A-1 Affordable Towing of West Bridgewater. Drew was there to help Kelly, whose truck had broken down on the highway.

As the two men worked in the breakdown lane shortly before dawn on Feb. 20, they were struck by Daniel Cummings, 21, of Raynham.

Cummings later pleaded guilty to two counts of motor vehicle homicide and was sentenced to four to five years in jail.

Yesterday's crash occurred shortly before 3 a.m. on the Mass. Pike in Newton. Cresta had been investigating an earlier crash; the occupants of that car had fled. He was struck by a Nissan driven by Patrick J. Sullivan, 23, of 84 Parker Road in Framingham.

Cresta sustained injuries to his head, face, legs, and ribs. Police described his condition as serious, but improving.

Sullivan was not injured. He was arrested and charged with operating under the influence, operating in a break down lane, and operating to endanger. He will be arraigned this week, State Police said.

Material from the Associated Press was used in this story.

Megan Woolhouse can be reached at mwoolhouse@globe.com.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Man Fatally Crushed at IN Salvage Yard

Our condolences to the family and acquaintances of 30-year old Michael L. Bodenhofer who died Oct. 7. Here's the News 6 story:
A Muncie auto salvage yard worker was killed when a sport-utility vehicle fell from a winch, crushing him underneath.Delaware County Coroner James Clevenger said Michael L. "Tiny" Bodenhofer, 30, probably died instantly when the SUV fell Monday.Clevenger called the death "a very unfortunate accident." He said Bodenhofer had used a flatbed wrecker and a winch cable to lift the 1,200-pound SUV by the bumper, so he could climb beneath it and remove some parts. Clevenger said the bumper gave way, dropping the vehicle on Bodenhofer's chest.Co-workers at Northwest Auto and Truck parts found his body at about 10 a.m., but Clevenger said the accident occurred earlier in the morning.

Deadly Days

In FL on Monday, a motorcyclist was killed in a collision with a tow truck. Here's the story from News 4 JAX.

In CA, also on Monday, a motorist was killed when a tow truck and passenger car collided on a freeway covered with smoke from a brush fire. Here's the KTLA.com story.

Last Thursday, a pedestrian in TX died after stepping in front of a tow truck. Here's the MyFox Houston story.

Also on that Thursday, a CA woman was killed in her driveway by a van that had come loose from a tow truck. Here's the CBS5.com story.

Earlier in the month, a ME woman was killed after the van she was traveling in hit a tow truck. Here's the MaineToday.com story.

NC Towers Meet About Regulations

Another Eyewitness 9 story about a NC tow truck operators meeting concerning the regulations in the post below this one:

By Laura Fowler
Ten & Nightside Edition Producer
Published: October 13, 2008

They can either be your best friends or your worst enemies.

But either way, tow truck drivers in the east say they have the right to set their own rates.

The Highway Patrol wants to set a standard price for towing cars from traffic collisions.

But some tow truck drivers say that’s not fair and they need to set their own prices to cover their costs.

A group of these drivers are meeting tonight at Parkers Barbecue on Memorial Drive in Greenville to talk about fighting this mandate.

The meeting starts at 6:30.

NC Towers Face New State Regulations on Jan. 1

Here's the Eyewitness News 9 story:

By Arthur Mondale
Published: October 13, 2008

Drivers will soon no longer have to guess how much a tow will cost them--that’s because starting next year everyone in our state will soon be paying the same price.
The Highway Patrol says it’s a way to protect the public from being over charged.
This has tow truck drivers in the east fuming and telling drivers to prepare for greater costs.
Towers like Alton Tate, prides himself on getting drivers out of the occasional sticky situation in no time, all at a fair price of course.
But that may soon change.
“This tow right here is probably about $50,” said Tate. “Versus if the Highway Patrol would of got called to this. It would have been $500 the way they’re trying to set it up now.”
Which has other drivers seeing red.
The North Carolina Highway Patrol wants uniformity on the roads when it comes to how much towers like Tate charge drivers like you and I.
Some troopers say they’ve seen single tows exceed $1,200.
Towers say the high patrol is asking for collision totals, non-collision totals and cost of labor per hour from every tow truck driver in our state, in an effort to produce a median which will be used to keep companies from robbing customers.
Towers say the mandate will in turn rob drivers and the towing industry.
“Everybody’s cost expenditures are different,” said John Nightingale. “They want one price that fits all.”
But prices aren’t in stone, each year during the month of November, towing companies will have to re-submit the numbers.

The North Carolina Highway Patrol’s Wrecker Policy goes into effect January 1, 2009.
The highway patrol will also mandate that companies which store vehicles charge a $10 fee per day.
Most tow truck drivers we spoke with are already charging between $25 to $40 dollars on average to store a vehicle for a day.

IL Tow Truck Drivers Want To Set Record

In light of a recent slew of negative press about tow truck operators in IL, especially the Chicago area, Pat Winer of Worldwide Equipment is organizing a Toys for Tot drive and world record attempt on Nov. 9. Click here to read a recent story in Footnotes by our writer Andrea Evans on the towing issues in Chicago.

Click here for a PDF document on the parade.

Here's the story on the Nov. 9 event from the Southtown Star.

A group of tow truck operators is trying to make Christmas special for thousands of boys and girls this year while attempting to set a world record in the process.

They're also hoping the goodwill effort will help improve their industry's reputation, which has been tarnished by tow operators who were charging customers exorbitant fees and holding cars for ransom.

More than 400 tow truck operators and their rigs are expected to form a continuous convoy that will wind its way from the Empress Casino in Joliet to Toyota Park in Bridgeview on Nov. 9.

The trucks will begin lining up about 5 a.m. outside the Empress Casino.

Each of the trucks is expected to be filled with toys for the Toys for Tots program.

Organizer Pat Winer, owner of Worldwide Equipment in Rockdale, said he hopes the event becomes an annual occurrence.

"The idea is to collect as many toys as we can and fill as many trucks as we can for deserving boys and girls," Winer said.

He said the group still is looking for donations of toys, especially for children younger than 4 and between 12 and 18.

Winer said sports equipment is always a hit with the older kids.

He said the Guinness Book of World Records has determined the longest continuous tow truck line (a minimum of two miles long and not interrupted by other vehicles) was 83 trucks in Wenatchee, Wash., in 2004.

In September, a convoy of 292 tow trucks attempted to break the record in New York City.

Winer said the results on whether the record was broken will be known in a few months.

"We're trying for 400 to 500 trucks," he said. "We've gone to all the towing agencies and tow trade shows and invited whomever we could.

"And we've been working the phones," Winer said. "The only thing standing in our way of making this a huge success will be snow. That could be a problem."

For more information or to make a financial or toy donation, call Winer at (630) 878-9837.

Jim Hook can be reached at jhook@southtownstar.com or (708) 633-5961.

Monday, October 13, 2008

1948 Willys Tow Truck

Came across this ad for a 1948 Willys Tow Truck at Autabuy.com. Pretty cool!


1948 Willys Tow Truck; color is Tan with black interior. Has 4 wheel drive, bought from original owner in 1948, kept inside, well taken care of. Asking $12,500. Located in Vineland, NJ. For more information, please call 856-691-0820 or 856-692-6373.

Price: $12,500.


Tuesday, October 7, 2008

NJ Towing Fee Bill Clears Hurdle

Here's the NJ.com story:

TRENTON A bill sparked by the death of a Mantua Township man took a step forward last week.

The bill would cap automotive towing fees at $100 for the first three days following an accident in which the owner was killed or seriously injured.

Sponsored by Senator Stephen Sweeney, the bill is aimed at protecting families who suffer the loss of a loved one from being taken advantage of by towing or storage facilities, according to Sweeney.

The bill, S-564, was approved by the Senate Law, Public Safety, and Veteran's Affairs Committee

Sweeney said that, if it is signed into law, the measure will be named Daniel Mackay's Law, in memory of the 18-year-old man who was killed in a traffic accident on I-295 in June 2006.

"When Daniel's family went to retrieve his car, they had trouble tracking down the location where the car was being stored," Sweeney said. "When they finally located the vehicle, the family was hit with a bill of almost $650 for towing and storage."

The bill would require the law enforcement officer responsible for notifying the next of kin to provide written information for contacting the vehicle storage facility and obtaining a copy of the accident report.

The measure would also cap storage fees at $100 for the first 72 hours after the vehicle is placed on the premises.

The bill passed the Assembly in February. It now heads to the Senate for a full vote.

$70,000 Raised for Injured MN Tow Truck Driver

Kudos to the organizers and supporters! Here's the story from DL-Online:

A fund-raiser Saturday raised more than $70,000 for a Detroit Lakes man injured Sept. 9 while helping stage a bus crash for a Becker County disaster drill, according to Detroit Lakes Police investigator Chad Jutz.

Mike Smith, 44, remains at the Hennepin County Medical Center, recovering from serious injuries incurred in the accident

About 2,000 people attended the benefit, held Saturday night at the Soo Pass Ranch where the accident occurred.

It raised $71,727, according to Jutz.

That includes $22,500 raised Friday during a KRCQ Radio A-thon in which local business and listeners were asked to donate. It also includes a $1,000 matching grant from Thrivent, Jutz said.

Smith owns and operates Lakes Country Towing in Detroit Lakes and was using one of his wreckers to tip a converted school bus for the drill. A freak accident caused the school bus to push the wrecker down an incline.

Smith tried to jump into his truck to put on the brakes and was caught half in and half out, suffering crushing injuries when the truck sideswiped a tree.

He suffered extensive injuries, including a crushed pelvis and the loss of his left leg.

On Sunday, this message was posted on Smith’s CaringBridge Web site:

“Just got off the phone with Mike and Julie .... they would like to thank everyone for attending and supporting the benefit!!

They especially want to extend their sincere and deepest thanks to the benefit committee and volunteers who have spent countless hours — organizing, marking and posting silent and live auction items — auditing, cooking, serving, cleaning, parking lot attendants, beer ticket sellers, bartenders, silent/live auction check out, security, clean crew, and the entertainers - sorry if they missed someone.

Thanks to WE Fest and Jim Fletcher for the use of the facilities.

Mike and Julie are amazed at the number of people and businesses who donated items to the silent and live auction. Without the generosity of everyone, including the attendees, the benefit would not have been a giant success.

Both Mike and Julie regret that the Webcam wouldn't work due to the Internet connection available at HCMC, and the fact they couldn’t attend the benefit.

Today is another long, slow day of waiting. Mike didn't have dialysis today — his kidneys seem to be improving and working a little bit more each day. Surgery is scheduled tomorrow to repair (put screws in) the back of Mike’s pelvis near the area where the pelvis meets the spinal column, and of course dialysis continues tomorrow as well.

The Benefit Committee extends their thanks as well to all the media, the volunteers, the entertainers and the generous donations and contributions of so very many people. We are overwhelmed by all the support – Thank you, everyone!!! — Dawn”

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

California Association of Licensed Repossessors Fall Convention & Repo Rodeo on Oct. 16-18

Click here to view a PDF brochure with a list of events and a registration form.

One Year Later, Tow Truck Driver's Family & Friends Remember

Here's the story from the Winnipeg Free Press:

Family, friends and co-workers gathered at the corner of York Avenue and Donald Street today at 4:30 a.m. to remember Amanda (Mandy) Frizzley.

The 26-year-old woman was killed at that location one year ago at about that time when the tow truck she was operating was struck by a driver who was allegedly going the wrong way down York at excessive speed.

Enlarge Image Enlarge Image icon

Friends painted a cross and the number 403, Frizzley's tow truck number, on the street, as well as placing a wreath and flowers on the corner. (Wayne Glowacki / Winnipeg Free Press )

“I am guessing probably 50-60 people turned out,” commented Frizzley’s father Craig. “It went very well.”

Frizzley’s co-workers painted 403, the unit number of her truck, on the road to commemorate the spot where she died.

“This was the anniversary of the day that she was killed right after 4 in the morning,” said Craig Frizzley. “The other reasons (for holding the vigil) were that we really wanted to get the word out about the preliminary hearing of the accused, which is scheduled for Oct. 22-24.”

Steve Watkins faces charges of driving impaired causing death, driving over the legal .08 blood-alcohol limit and criminal negligence causing death, according to court documents.

“Also everyone there wanted the public to know that we’re just not going to stand for these criminal acts and impaired driving on our streets.”

“Its been a year of dealing with it,” said Craig Frizzley, adding, “but (hopefully) final closure will come when the judicial system doesn’t fail us.”

Frizzley’s mother Janet said in a prepared release that the vigil was a chance to raise awareness, and remind the public and the justice system that driving drunk causes devastation, destruction and the death of far too many innocent victims.

“Absolutely nothing can bring Mandy back,” she said. “Our concern is not about revenge, it is justice for Mandy, and a benchmark to ensure that other families like ours do not have to live through the horror of losing a child to an alleged drunk driver.”