Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Everyday AZ Tow Hero

Round of applause to Jeff Dunn, general manager at All-City Towing, for helping out! Here's the story from azcentral.com:

Thirty children from Sunshine Acres get to see the Arizona Diamondbacks play on Kid's Day this year, thanks to a local company that bought their tickets.

The Mesa Police Honor Guard is selling tickets to the July 25 game against the San Francisco Giants for a fundraiser commemorating Law Enforcement Day and All-City Towing purchased tickets for Sunshine Acres Children's Home to use.

Because the game is on Kid's Day at the stadium, children that attend are allowed to run the bases and see a performance by The Wiggles after the game. The first 5,000 kids that show up to the game receive a Diamondbacks backpack. and Sunshine Acres CEO and President Carol Whitworth said they will have to show up early for that.

The Mesa Police Honor Guard is a non-profit organization and earns most of its money from fundraisers that are held to get the officers uniforms and keep the organization running.

Barbara McReynolds, a spokeswoman for the Mesa Police Honor Guard, organized the Diamondbacks fundraiser and sought out a company that would buy tickets for the children.

"I thought if someone could buy those kids a ticket, then they could go to the game," McReynolds said.

That's when she contacted Jeff Dunn, general manager at All-City Towing, and asked if he'd be interested in purchasing tickets for the children in the lower level bleachers of Chase Stadium. Dunn donated $450 for 30 children to go to the game. Although 60 children and teenagers live at the home, many of them will attend a camp the week of the game.

"We've had a long standing relationship with Mesa and a proven record of doing things in the community that helps people that are much less fortunate than us and we're a contractor that's trying to raise the bar in our industry and this is just one function of doing so," Dunn said. "We always donate to anything that Mesa Public Safety Foundation is involved with. Our job is public safety and we work really closely with the police and fire departments so it's just kind of a natural fit for us."

Dunn and Whitworth presented the children their tickets at an event outside Sunshine Acres Monday. The kids stood on the bed of a freshly washed All-City Towing truck as Dunn handed Whitworth a giant check.

Sunshine Acres Children's Home is a 109-acre long-term home for children and teens come from families who are unable to provide care for a variety of reasons. Some of them came from families who were homeless or incarcerated and the children had nowhere else to go. The children and staff who live at the home reside in seven newly renovated and built homes. Sunshine Acres is funded by private donations, estates and corporate gifts. It is located at 3405 North Higley Road in Mesa.

The Mesa Police Honor Guard hopes to sell 450 tickets for the game and earn $2,200 for the organization, McReynolds said. Anyone interested in buying tickets can fill out and send an order form to the Honor Guard by July 9. Order forms can be found at www.mesaaz.gov/police/honor_guard/.

"I think the kids will have fun," McReynolds said.

"Oh they, will. They will," Whitworth said.

AutoReturn To Expand Towing Services Into Insurance Industry

Here's the press release:
SAN FRANCISCO, CA--(Marketwire - June 29, 2010) - AutoReturn, the leading towing management and logistics company, today announced that it is leveraging its proven towing logistics and management platform into a significant new market segment -- the insurance industry.

Insurance companies currently tow millions of accident vehicles each year, and AutoReturn is ideally positioned to streamline this process, end-to-end, with its towing logistics solution and services which have been reliably deployed by municipalities for years.

AutoReturn will help insurance companies reduce claims costs by providing a one-stop solution for the towing of accident vehicles to direct repair facilities and salvage auction companies, using a nationwide network of local tow operators.

AutoReturn is actively seeking high-quality, professional towing service providers to join its network. Unlike other national networks, AutoReturn does not focus on the crowded, low-paying, emergency towing market. Network partners are paid competitive rates and are able to increase utilization of existing equipment and personnel by performing secondary tows within agreed-upon timeframes.

"Most insurance company tows are performed at retail prices and managed manually, increasing claims costs and customer premiums," said John Wicker, Chief Executive Officer of AutoReturn. "AutoReturn's proven towing logistics capabilities, paired with our new national network, will provide an attractive alternative for our insurance company clients."

Capable towing service providers interested in more information about becoming an approved member of the AutoReturn national network should call or email the company at:

AutoReturn Vendor Management
Phone: (415) 865-8273 (415) 865-8273
Fax: (415) 865-8243

About AutoReturn
AutoReturn is the leader in municipal towing management and logistics solutions, partnering with municipalities and existing local tow operators to help achieve efficiency, superior service, and increased cost recovery. AutoReturn was formed in 2002 to revolutionize the municipal towing industry. Recognizing the presence of a common set of problems in municipal towing across the country, AutoReturn realized that a new type of company was required, a municipal towing management company. In March of 2004 AutoReturn assumed overall responsibility for towing, storage, customer service and unclaimed vehicle disposal for the approximately 70,000 annual tows under exclusive contract with the City and County of San Francisco.

The July Digital Edition of Footnotes is Out!

Monday, June 28, 2010

New VA Law Aims To Protect Road Workers, Including Tow Truck Drivers

Round of applause! The law goes into effect on Thursday, July 1. Here's the NBC 29 story:

On July 1, a new law will make it safer for people working on the sides of the road in Virginia.

Earlier this year, lawmakers voted to expand the Commonwealth's "Move Over" law. It now includes protection for tow truck drivers and highway workers who have amber colored flashing lights.

The current law applies only to motorists approaching emergency vehicles displaying red or blue flashing lights. The new law also mandates that "motorists, approaching a tow truck or highway maintenance vehicle displaying amber lights, change lanes away from the flashing lights, if possible to do so safely, and/or proceed with caution given the prevailing highway conditions."

The Virginia Department of Transportation says the law will improve safety for its employees working along roads.

"Work zones and emergency incidents on the highways are some of the most dangerous places for both highway workers and motorists as they drive through," explained VDOT Spokesperson Lou Hatter. "The move over law has proven to be an effective tool to increase the safety for emergency responders."

Virginia joins 38 other states that have already implemented the law. The offense is punishable as a traffic infraction.

Sad News from Canada

Here's the story from the Winnipeg Free Press:
No charges have been laid against a 52-year-old tow truck driver who struck and killed a five-year-old boy early Friday evening.

Winnipeg police confirmed the driver was interviewed and released, and that no charges have been laid at this time.

The five-year-old was hit by a Dr. Hook flatbed tow truck across from a busy neighbourhood playground at Charles Street and Manitoba Avenue at 7 p.m. Friday. Police said the boy was riding his bike southbound on Charles Street when he was struck by the truck travelling westbound on Manitoba Avenue. He was killed instantly.

Police have not released any further details, and said officers are investigating the accident.

Several witnesses allege a Dr. Hook flatbed tow truck ran through a four-way stop sign and hit the boy.

Nelson Roulette's 11-year-old son saw the horrific accident, and said the boy's head was crushed by the truck's wheels. Throngs of neighbourhood children were playing in the nearby park at the time, including friends of the victim who went for an ice cream with the boy just one hour earlier.

"I was in the park with my kids and my daughter saw it," said one woman, who wanted to remain anonymous. "His head went between the tires."

The woman phoned 911, while her husband covered the boy's body with a shirt. She said the boy was killed instantly.

She and other witnesses allege the tow truck driver attempted to flee the scene, but was restrained by a group of area residents until police arrived.

Other witnesses said the driver was in the truck sobbing.

Police would not confirm any of these details.

Officials from Dr. Hook Towing declined to comment Friday night.

The boy's family arrived at the accident scene shortly after 8 p.m. hugging and sobbing as police told them what happened.

"I'm not surprised it happened like this with all the traffic that goes by," said longtime resident Monique Roulette. "They have to do something to make it safe for the kids."

Area residents say they've long complained that drivers routinely speed through neighbourhood streets, including some drivers who are cruising for sex trade workers. Roulette said that's made streets unsafe for dozens of children, who ride their bikes and play together in the Pritchard Avenue park.

Nelson Roulette said he wants to see the city install speed humps on streets near the park to prevent such a tragedy from happening again. Roulette said the boy often came over to his house to play with his son and that the boys would ride their bikes and play in the neighbourhood park.

"I think every park should have those humps," Roulette said. "(Neighbourhood children) are alike one big family."

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Everyday CA Tow Heroes

Kudos to the people from Anderson Quality Towing and Premier Towing, who help moved about ten vehicles away from the burning building to assist the firefighters!
Here's the story from the Anderson Valley Post:

Investigators suspect a person started the fire that destroyed the vacant building housing the former McMillan True Value business at 3320 West Center St. in Anderson on Friday, June 18. Reported at 4:45 p.m., the fire began in or near the Tormey drain that runs underneath the structure and across Highway 273, Anderson Fire Protection District Chief Andy Nichols said.

"It was definitely human caused," Nichols said in a telephone interview June 21. "We've ruled out all other sources of ignition."

The fire, he said, started below the structure's floor near a concrete storm drain.

Nichols said air was drawn in from both ends of the underground drain and fed the fire, causing a chimney effect throwing flames up to about 40 feet in the air through the 10,000-square-foot structure.

The fire produced thick smoke prompting the closing of Highway 273 for over two hours, the Record Searchlight reported.

Two Anderson fire fighters on the initial strike team, Corey Cox and Lee Hart, suffered minor heat exhaustion while fighting the fire from the rear of the building. The two were medically evaluated on scene, Nichols said, and after a 30 minute rest, both returned to duty.

"They were working hard trying to keep the fire from growing," Nichols said.

Inside, the structure stored paint, mattresses and furniture, Nichols said.

A natural gas line was broken on the premises, but it was not clear if that occurred before the fire, Nichols said on Saturday. Despite the building's vacancy, firefighters also had to arrange for the electricity to be turned off, Nichols said.

A nearby apartment complex was evacuated.

Without seeking compensation, at least two local towing companies, Anderson Quality Towing and Premier Towing, help moved about ten vehicles away from the burning building to assist the firefighters. Likely parked there in lieu of paying for parking at the Shasta District Fair, not one of the vehicle owners thanked them, said Rob Lien of Premier Towing.

Once burnt to the ground, a crew of Anderson fire fighters worked to ensure the remains were fire-safe until 7 a.m. on Saturday, Nichols said, estimating the total loss of about $1,000,000.

The structure was not red tagged by the city immediately prior to the blaze, said Steve Ayers, city building inspector. Agencies assisting with the fire included Redding and Shasta County fire departments, Cottonwood and Happy Valley fire districts as well as West Valley and Centerville volunteer fire companies.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Round Of Applause

Kudos to the three employees of Jimmy Matthews Towing and Repair of Stony Creek, VA, who were part of this crash story that turned out better than expected! Here's the Richmond Times-Dispatch story:

On Mother's Day, Paige Hakimian and her four daughters were headed home to Florida when they nearly died in a horrific crash on Interstate 95 in Sussex County.

The other day she called to say, "Thank you."

Thank you?

"It's your worst nightmare that can ever come true," Hakimian said from her home in Jacksonville, where she is recovering from her injuries. "But it turned out to have so many blessings. There's not enough good things I can say about the people we ran into in Richmond."

If you want to feel good about the place where we live, talk to Hakimian for a few minutes, as I did.

Here's a woman whose family suffered broken bones and bled all over everything -- and who personally almost lost a foot and was spitting out teeth -- after their sport utility vehicle flipped several times and landed them first in a grassy median and then in VCU Medical Center in Richmond. Yet all she can talk about is how well she was treated in Richmond and beyond -- from the first passers-by who rushed to their aid with prayers and water, to the vertically challenged cab driver who cheerfully helped the hobbling 5-foot-10 Hakimian to the airport and her flight home after more than three weeks in VCU Medical Center.

"Every day some person would come and do some random act of kindness," Hakimian said. "I still think about all of the incredible people who came into our lives."

Hakimian and her daughters -- her two sons and husband were back in Jacksonville -- were traveling from Northern Virginia. She had fetched her two oldest daughters, Blair, 21, and Haley, 19, both students at George Washington University, to bring them home for the summer. Brighton, 12, and Hollin, 9, were along for the ride.

They left early that Sunday and were about 40 miles south of Richmond when Hakimian swerved to avoid pieces of a shredded tire in her lane, she said. She lost control of her SUV, and her family suddenly became dependent on the kindness of strangers -- such as the three guys from Jimmy Matthews Towing and Repair of Stony Creek who spent an hour picking up the family's belongings strewn for a quarter-mile along the highway and then kept everything safe until Hakimian's husband, Ben, could come up from Florida to retrieve it.

"It was bad," Jimmy Matthews said when I called him. "Most times something rolls like that, somebody gets killed. The seat belts saved them."

There was the helicopter pilot who flew Hakimian, along with daughter Haley, to VCU and then wouldn't leave her side because she had no one else to sit with her.

There were kindly state troopers, an Episcopal priest who brought Communion, and an army of nurses, doctors and hospital social workers who did their jobs but also delivered a mother's hugs to Hakimian's injured chil dren who were being treated in other parts of the hospital.

"It's a lot of coordination of care from every aspect when you're dealing with families, especially when it's parents separated from children," said Nancy Martin, director of VCU's trauma program. She said 6 to 8 percent of the hospital's trauma patients are from out of state, partly a result of being close to three interstate highways.

As for the Hakimians, Martin said: "We see so much tragedy here, it's great when we see people do well."

After spending a few nights at the hospital, Ben Hakimian showed up to take a room at the Hilton Garden Inn a few blocks from the hospital with a group of young women on crutches in tow. Seeing that, the staff leapt into action with food and other special arrangements.

John Cario, the hotel's general manager, said the philosophy is simple: "Treat our guests how we would want to be treated, especially in a time of need, in a strange city."

Paige Hakimian was the last to leave the hospital, and she has more surgery coming up this month. But she's thrilled that she and her daughters are alive and will be well, and she's happy to be able to say, "Thank you."

"I don't know all of their names," Hakimian said, "but maybe they'll see this and know how eternally grateful I am."

The only thing missing is Lambie, a raggedy, well-loved little stuffed lamb that Blair had slept with since she was a young child. Lambie got lost in the crash. If you find it, the Hakimians are offering a reward.

Mother's Day didn't turn out so well for the Hakimians. What's on tap for Father's Day?

Paige Hakimian laughed and said, "We're going to lay low."

Man Allegedly Cuts CA Tow-Yard Employee

Here's the story from the Signal:
A Newhall man who couldn’t afford to pay about $230 to get his car out of a towing lot earlier this week stabbed an employee at the yard in the ear with a switchblade, officials said.

Antonio Marco Reyes, 35, was arrested Tuesday after the alleged attack at Freeway Towing on Ruether Avenue. Reyes was booked on charges of assault with a deadly weapon, mayhem, battery and possession of less than an ounce of marijuana, said Lt. Brenda Cambra of the Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff’s Station.

“Reyes wanted to get his car out,” Cambra said. “The victim told him how much it would cost, but Reyes didn’t have that much money on him and began to argue with the employee. The employee started to walk away when Reyes walked toward him and stabbed him in the left ear and then punched (the victim) in the face.”

The stabbing happened at about 3 p.m., and Reyes was arrested while walking along Soledad Canyon Road a short time later, Cambra said.

Reyes’ car was towed because it was parked illegally, an employee at Freeway Towing said Thursday. The victim had to get a few stitches on his ear at the hospital. The victim wasn’t working Thursday, he said.

Reyes was being held at the Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff’s Station without bail on Thursday and is expected to appear in court today.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

TX Tow Company's "Last Call" Program Aims To Keep Roads Safe

Good marketing! Here's the story from Woodlands Online:
THE WOODLANDS, Texas - Milstead Towing & Recovery has introduced Last Call, a DUI prevention towing program created to provide people under the influence of alcohol with an alternative to get themselves, their friends and their vehicle home safely.

Milstead’s Last Call program was recently endorsed by Assistant District Attorney and Vehicular Crimes Chief, Warren Diepramm, who said “it is strongly encouraged that if you choose to drink, you avail yourself of designated drivers or other resources such as Milstead’s Last Call program to avoid a DWI arrest or worse. A tow under this program is at least 100 times cheaper than a DWI arrest, which will cost you at least $5,000.”

Milstead Automotive Group vice president, Amy Milstead noted, “We answer a lot of calls for wrecks caused by drivers who have had too much to drink, and the scene is usually devastating to not only the victim, but the driver and their families. Our Last Call program will hopefully make people under the influence and their friends think about the consequences, and know that they have an easy alternative to get home. We also hope that restaurants and clubs will have Last Call on their speed dial so that we can help save their patrons avoid a horrible situation.”

For a flat rate of $50, Milstead Towing & Recovery will transport a person(s) and their vehicle home safely within a 10-mile radius of the pick-up location, no questions asked, helping to better ensure their safety and the safety of our streets and highways.

Milstead’s Last Call program allows everyone on the road the opportunity to arrive alive and eliminates the possibility of getting pulled over and receiving a DUI. It also eliminates the wait for a taxicab, the embarrassment of having to call a friend or family member for a ride or the risk of having your vehicle towed or impounded.

To call Last Call dial 281 367-3535 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting 281 367-3535 end_of_the_skype_highlighting. Don’t get stuck with a DUI; make Milstead your Last Call.

Man, Teen Charged In Fatal Shooting Of FL Tow Company Owner

Here's the Sun-Sentinel story:

WEST PALM BEACH — A 79-year-old man who died Saturday after a confrontation earlier in the week with two or three other people, did not fire back after shots were fired at him. Instead, he drove away.

Initial reports of the incident said Lamar Davis Sr., of West Palm Beach, was involved in a shootout in the 1200 block of 10th Street. But a police report released Wednesday said Davis' gun, found in his sport utility vehicle, "had not been recently fired."

Leon Duncan, 24, of West Palm Beach, was arrested Tuesday and charged with second-degree murder in Davis' death.

On Wednesday, Mikira Passard, 17, whose residence was not immediately available, was arrested and also charged with second-degree murder.

While Duncan showed his weapon to Davis first, police reports indicate Davis apparently was not intimidated and said, "You young bloods aren't the only ones with a gun."

Before the shooting started, about 3:30 a.m. June 9, Davis picked up two people from work and drove to a nearby store. The two people, who also witnessed the shooting, received a call from Duncan requesting rolling papers and went to Duncan's car, according to police reports.

Davis, whose family owns and operates West Palm Beach-based Davis Towing, drove to Duncan's car and tried opening the door, which irritated Duncan. Duncan showed Davis his gun and Davis got into his vehicle.

Duncan and Davis both drove to the the house of one of the witnesses on 10th Street. Davis showed the witness that he, too, had a gun and the witness told him to go home. The two started yelling at each other.

That's when Davis got in his vehicle and drove over to Duncan's car, told the "young bloods" that he had a gun as well and pointed his pistol at Duncan's windshield.

That set Duncan and one of his passengers, Passard, into a rage and the two started shooting at Davis. Duncan shot two or three times directly at Davis and Passard shot at Davis' car, said police reports.

Injured, Davis drove into a house on the 100 block of Australian Avenue. He was taken to St. Mary's Medical Center, where he died three days later.

West Palm Beach Police Department, the FBI office in West Palm Beach and the U.S. Marshals Florida Regional Fugitive Task Force were involved in the investigation.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Crawford Truck To Sponsor July 27th Statewide Towing Association Golf Tournament in MA

Here's the release:
Crawford Truck of Lancaster Massachusetts is sponsoring the 1st Annual Statewide Towing Association golf outing this year at Blackstone National in Sutton Massachusetts. Blackstone National has been voted as one of the top 10 public golf courses in Massachusetts. The course was designed by Award Winning Architect Rees Jones and has hosted many Championship Golf events. To learn more about Blackstone National Golf Club, please visit www.bngc.net or call 508-865-2111.

Many Jerr-Dan Tow Trucks will be on site for this event as well as an assortment of new tow trucks for sale and used tow trucks for sale. The tow trucks for sale are being supplied by Crawford Truck Sales which is the premier tow truck dealer on the East Coast.

The 2010 Golf committee consists of Pat Todisco, John Direnzo, Robert Johnson, John Lamarche, Jeremy Procon, Mike Aspesi and Paul King. There are several options offered to players interested in participating. The base cost is $100 per person which includes: Golf Cart, Beverage Ticket, Dinner and Complimentary Gifts. The $500 Package is: a Foursome of players, Tee, Cart, and Sponsorships. The $700 Gold Supporter Category is: a foursome of players, 2 Tees, 2 Carts, Sponsorships Special Mention at Dinner and the Big Kahuna $1,000 Platinum Supporter Packager consists of being recognized as Dinner Sponsors, a Foursome of players, 2 Tees, 2 carts and Sponsorship.

In addition this Tow Truck Golf event will over many contests throughout the day. A closest to the Pin event, $10,000 price, Longest Drive and last but not least a Hole in one Grand Prize. Should you get a Hole in One during the tow truck sales event you will automatically win a brand new Jerr-Dan Wrecker.

The event is scheduled for Tuesday July 27th, 2010 with a prompt 10am Shotgun start. Make sure to make the trip down to see all the newest Tow Trucks available; car carriers, wreckers and heavy duty tow trucks.

FL Towing Co. Founder Dies After Crash and Gunfight

Our condolences to the family and acquaintances of 79-year-old Lamar Davis, Sr. who founded Davis Towing of West Palm Beach. Here's the story from the Palm Beach Post news:

A 79-year-old West Palm Beach towing company founder who exchanged gunfire with with attackers and crashed into a house last week has died, police said today.

Lamar Davis Sr., of West Palm Beach, died over the weekend, West Palm Beach Police spokesman Chase Scott confirmed late this afternoon.

The elderly Davis was driving his sport utility vehicle at about 3:30 a.m. on June 9 when he was shot at, according to police reports.

Police said that Davis exchanged gunfire with his attackers before losing control and crashing his vehicle into a house in the 1000 block of Australian Avenue.

No one inside the house was hurt, but Davis was transported to the St. Mary's Medical Center in critical condition.

Davis' family owns and operates West Palm Beach-based Davis Towing. Investigators said last week that they were looking for more than three people who shot at Davis.

Anyone with information is asked to call Palm Beach County Crime Stoppers at 1-800-458-TIPS (8477).

Friday, June 11, 2010

Stolen Truck Reeled In From MD Harbor

Here's the story from www.oceancity.com:

This stolen tow truck was pulled out of the water at the  Fisherman’s Marina in West Ocean City on Wednesday morning.  OCEAN CITY TODAY/CHRISTINE CULLEN This stolen tow truck was pulled out of the water at the Fisherman’s Marina in West Ocean City on Wednesday morning. OCEAN CITY TODAY/CHRISTINE CULLEN A stolen tow truck ended up under water at the boat ramp of the Fisherman’s Marina in West Ocean City on Wednesday and police continue to search for the person responsible.

The apparent theft and sinking of the truck owned by Coastal Auto Recovery was discovered Wednesday morning as people launched a fishing boat down the ramp. As the boat slid off its trailer, it hit a large object under water. When the fishermen realized the object was a submerged tow truck, they called for help.

The Ocean City Fire Department received the call at 9:53 a.m., spokesman Steve Price said. Four members of the department’s dive team donned flippers, scuba tanks and bright red wetsuits as they dove into the water to see if anyone was trapped inside.

The dive team scoured the waters in and around the marina on Sunset Avenue but found no bodies inside the truck or in the area surrounding it.

Members of the Ocean City Fire Department’s dive team  hook up a sunken tow truck to another tow truck on land in preparation  to pull the submerged vehicle out of the water. Authorities are unsure  how the truck, reported stolen the previous night, ended up in the  water. The vehicle was found completely submerged by fishermen launching  their boat at the marina. OCEAN CITY TODAY/CHRISTINE CULLEN Members of the Ocean City Fire Department’s dive team hook up a sunken tow truck to another tow truck on land in preparation to pull the submerged vehicle out of the water. Authorities are unsure how the truck, reported stolen the previous night, ended up in the water. The vehicle was found completely submerged by fishermen launching their boat at the marina. OCEAN CITY TODAY/CHRISTINE CULLEN The cab of the tow truck was empty and the driver’s side window had been rolled all the way down, Price said. The divers searched the rest of the marina but found no sign of a driver.

“We still don’t know how it got there,” Price said.

That job is being left to the Worcester County Sheriff’s Office, which is investigating the incident that left the truck sitting in about eight feet of water at the end of the ramp. The truck was pointing into the water as if it had been driven down the ramp. All four wheels had gone off the concrete ramp, but the tail of the truck was still resting on the concrete.

According to Sgt. Bobby Brittingham of the Worcester County Sheriff’s Office, the tow truck had been reported stolen at 12:30 a.m. the previous night. It had been parked in front of the owner’s home on Lake Street in West Ocean City, not far from the marina. Police have no suspects.

Cropper and Sons Towing assisted with the salvage, sending one of the company’s large tow trucks to retrieve the submerged truck. The divers attached a hook to the sunken vehicle and it was slowly pulled up onto land.

Water gushed out of the truck for minutes on end, but it did not appear to have suffered substantial damage. Brittingham said the keys were still in the ignition.

The fire department laid small, absorbent white sheets along the surface of the water to absorb fuel and other liquids leaking from the truck.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

A Wednesday Laugh List

In honor of our moms :)

1. My mother taught me TO APPRECIATE A JOB WELL DONE .
"If you're going to kill each other, do it outside. I just finished cleaning."

2. My mother taught me RELIGION.
"You better pray that will come out of the carpet."

3. My mother taught me about TIME TRAVEL .
" If you don't straighten up, I'm going to knock you into the middle of next week!"

4. My mother taught me LOGIC.
" Because I said so, that's why."

5. My mother taught me MORE LOGIC.
"If you fall out of that swing and break your neck, you're not going to the store with me.."

6. My mother taught me FORESIGHT.
"Make sure you wear clean underwear, in case you're in an accident."

7. My mother taught me IRONY
"Keep crying, and I'll give you something to cry about."

8. My mother taught me about the science of OSMOSIS.
"Shut your mouth and eat your supper."

9. My mother taught me about CONTORTIONISM.
"Will you look at that dirt on the back of your neck!"

10. My mother taught me about STAMINA..
"You'll sit there until all that spinach is gone."

11. My mother taught me about WEATHER.
"This room of yours looks as if a tornado went through it."

12. My mother taught me about HYPOCRISY.
"If I told you once, I've told you a million times. Don't exaggerate!"

13. My mother taught me the CIRCLE OF LIFE.
"I brought you into this world, and I can take you out."

14. My mother taught me about BEHAVIOR MODIFICATION.
"Stop acting like your father!"

15. My mother taught me about ENVY.
"There are millions of less fortunate children in this world who don't have wonderful parents like you do."

16. My mother taught me about ANTICIPATION.
"Just wait until we get home."

17. My mother taught me about RECEIVING .
"You are going to get it when you get home!"

18. My mother taught me MEDICAL SCIENCE..
"If you don't stop crossing your eyes, they are going to freeze that way."

19. My mother taught me ESP.
"Put your sweater on; don't you think I know when you are cold?"

20. My mother taught me HUMOR.
"When that lawn mower cuts off your toes, don't come running to me."

21. My mother taught me HOW TO BECOME AN ADULT .
"If you don't eat your vegetables, you'll never grow up."

22. My mother taught me GENETICS.
"You're just like your father."

23. My mother taught me about my ROOTS.
"Shut that door behind you. Do you think you were born in a barn?"

24. My mother taught me WISDOM.
"When you get to be my age, you'll understand."

25. And my favorite: My mother taught me about JUSTICE
"One day you'll have kids, and I hope they turn out just like you.

TX Attorney General Sues Tow Company For Not Being Accessible To Disabled Customers

Here's the KVUE story:

A story regarding a disabled man who had problems retrieving his towed truck has gotten the attention of the Texas Attorney General and the Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation. On Tuesday, the Texas Attorney General filed a lawsuit against J&J Towing company for not being accessible to disabled customers. In March, 23-year old Tyler Thomas' truck was towed from downtown Austin to J&J Towing in East Austin. Thomas uses a wheelchair. When the Texas State University student went to J&J Towing to get his truck back he couldn't reach the payment window because it was too high. There are also cement bricks stacked up on the ground under the payment window and Thomas couldn't get his wheelchair on top of them. "If they're going to tow vehicles with handicap placards they need to be handicap accessible," said Thomas. Last week after the news item caught the attention of the Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation, investigators went out to J&J Towing to inspect the east Austin property. The owner of J&J Towing declined an on camera interview with KVUE but told us on the phone that he has yet to receive any paperwork or lawsuit from either state agency. The owner did grant KVUE an interview with the employee who dealt with Thomas the night in question. "In any case when a customer is handicapped or disabled in anyway we accommodate them the best we can and if that requires that I come outside then that's what I do," said Bettie Sharpnack, a J&J Towing employee. "It is a problem and if this story and this lawsuit will help fix that it'll make things a lot easier for people in chairs or people who just have difficulty getting around. I didn't set out to get anybody in trouble all I wanted, I just wanted the problem fixed. I'm not mad at J&J towing, I just think it should be fair for everybody," added Thomas. J&J Towing has 90 days to comply and if not faces fines of up to $5,000 a day for each day the business is not in compliance.

Here's the link to the previous story.

Tow Truck/Motor Scooter Crash In OH

Here's the NBC 4 news story:
CALEDONIA, Ohio -- A male is killed and a female is injured in a crash involving a motor scooter and a tow truck Tuesday afternoon.

A motor scooter and a tow truck crashed on Caledonia-Northern Road south of Linn-Hipsher Road at 12:53 p.m. Tuesday. That's in northeast Marion County.

The driver of the motor scooter, Stephen E. Melroy, 23, was killed in the crash.

The female passenger Callie J. Bramel, age 21 of Marion, was injured and transported to OSU Medical Center Main by medical helicopter. She is listed in stable condition.

The tow-truck driver, Brice E. Gates, was driving southbound on Caledonia-Northern Road.

The tow-truck driver said the motor scooter was "all over the road" and swerving before the crash.

Gates said he tried to avoid the motor scooter but a roadside ditch prevented it.

The tow-truck driver suffered a laceration to his arm.

The crash remains under investigation.

Everyday MO Tow Hero

Round of applause to tow truck driver Jeremy Hurt for helping to save a man who was shot! Here's the news story from KPLR-TV:
ST. LOUIS, MO (KPLR) - A local tow truck driver may have saved the life of one of the victims in that crime spree. He stumbled upon the man just moments after he had been shot.

When 33 year old Jeremy Hurt first saw the 23 year old man in the street near Telegraph and Baumgartner around midnight, he didn't realize the man had been shot in the chest. Jeremy, who is a tow truck driver, had the lights on his tow truck flashing because he was transporting a car. He blocked the lane where the man was with his truck and called 911. When jeremy got to the victim and realized he had been shot, he immediately called county police.

"Laying there, feet up on the curb, kind of rolling side to side a little bit, reaching at his shoulder, pulled his shirt up once and said hey I've been shot and that's when I really started freaking out." said Tow Truck Driver Jeremy Hurt.

Jeremy says he saw a Chrysler Sebring speed away from the scene as he pulled up. He didn't realize that was likely the suspects' car because the victim told him the attackers were in a Buick. Jeremy is just glad he pulled up when he did.

Two other people also stopped to help the victim. One of them also talked to the victim before emergency crews arrived.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

2010 WTRAA Tow Woman of the Year Nominations

Do you know a WTRAA member who should be recognized as an outstanding leader in our industry? Is she someone who has made a difference in her community, her family, and her business? Is she a special lady who is dedicated to the betterment of the towing industry through her state and national association?

If you know this woman please nominate her for the 2010 Tow Woman of the Year. This most prestigious award will be presented at the TRAA meeting to be held in conjunction with the Tennessee Tow Truck Association Tow Show. The tow show will be held at the Chattanooga Choo Choo Convention Center in Chattanooga, Tennessee September 17-19, 2010. Any questions or for a nomination form, please contact Marci Gratzianna at mgratzianna@oharetowing.com or 630-824-4702.

Win Big on July 1!

On July 1st, we will be drawing a random winner from those who have signed up to be on our email list for a Master Unlock Tool Kit ...provided by Pierce Sales, a $300 value. The process is simple: Follow the link, get registered to receive free monthly towing news and information and you may just win a Master Unlock Tool Kit from Pierce Sales.

Click here to register and enter!

Already on Footnotes' email list? Then you are already entered. It's that simple!

Dangerous Duty: MA Tow Truck Driver Survives Head-On Crash

Thankfully, the 26-year-old driver from Express Towing was not killed in this crash. Our condolences to the family and acquaintances of the driver who crashed into him. Here's the story from www.wickedlocal.com:

Cohasset police said a 51-year-old Scituate man, who was headed south on Route 3A in a 2008 Chevrolet Silverado pickup truck toward Scituate, crossed over the centerline near Sanctuary Pond Road between lower King and Sohier streets at 6:02 p.m. and hit a wrecker that was headed north.

The accident claimed the life of the Scituate man, who was transported to South Shore Hospital by Cohasset ambulance. He was pronounced dead upon arrival at the hospital, police said. Police said it appears he died of multiple traumatic injuries sustained in the crash; he was not wearing a seatbelt.

His name has not been released pending notification of his family.

The man driving the 2008 Super-Duty wrecker out of Express Towing in Braintree was a 26-year-old Hull man who was transported to the hospital by Hull ambulance with non-life-threatening injuries, police said.

Witnesses said the Silverado pickup crossed over the centerline and hit the wrecker head-on, causing major impact.

The force of the collison impacted a third vehicle, a 2007 Nissan Murano, operated by a 27-year-old Scituate man, police said. The operator was not injuired; the car had to be towed, police said.

Route 3A traffic was diverted at lower King and Sohier streets for three hours. The State Police Accident Reconstruction Team helped Cohasset police with their investigation.

Trucker Topples INDOT Camera Tower - Waffco Comes To The Rescue!

Here's the story from the Chesterton Tribune:

Indiana State Police arrested a Chicago truck driver early this morning after he crashed into a 180-foot tower, causing it to fall across both lanes of the ramp at I-65 and I-80. Taken to the Lake County Jail on charges of operating while intoxicated and criminal mischief was Jose Herrera, 52, of Chicago, police said. Police said that at about 1:56 a.m., Herrera was driving a 1998 Kenworth semi eastbound on I-80 to the southbound I-65 ramp. Police said Herrera appears to have failed to negotiate the curve and continued going straight off the roadway, down the embankment and through a chain link fence surrounding the 180-foot camera tower owned by the Indiana Department of Transportation. The tower fell north across both lanes of I-65 northbound to the I-80 westbound ramp, police said. The ramp was closed until part of the tower could be cut and one lane re-opened at approximately 5:15 a.m. The ramp from I-80 east bound to I-65 south bound remained opened. Police said Herrera was traveling from Chicago to Columbus with a load of auto parts weighing 41,912 pounds. No load was lost in the crash. Police said Herrera stated that he drank three beers before picking up his load in Chicago. Troopers also found an open can of beer in the truck, police said. Herrera was taken to St. Mary’s Medical Center in Hobart where he was treated and released before he was taken to the county jail. Police said the camera tower, which had an estimated value of $200,000 to $300,000, was destroyed. The 1998 Kenworth leased to Pier Transportation of Chicago was also totaled, police said. Assisting the Indiana State Police were the Gary Fire Department, Waffco Towing, and the INDOT Hoosier Helpers.

Friday, June 4, 2010

Everyday TX Tow Hero

Kudos to tow truck operator Kyle Evans for pulling a man from a burning vehicle! Here's the 33News story:
As a veteran tow truck driver, Kyle Evans has seen his share of car crashes. He guesses, "Two or three bad accidents a month, real bad ones."

But even his 13-years of experience behind the wheel at home and in the military didn't prepare him for what happened Friday night on I-20 outside of Terrell. Kyle Evans says, "I heard brakes lock up and I looked across the interstate."

What he saw was a tragic, four-vehicle chain reaction crash investigators think started with an 18-wheeler hitting an SUV. Evans says, "As everything came to a stop, the SUV kind of burst into flames."

That's when Evans went running...toward the fire. The first victim he says he saw, "was a lady. She was thrown out of the car. She was on fire herself. I pulled her from the wreckage and pulled her out and asked someone to get a cover to cover her up."

Investigators today say it was 34-year old Lakeysha Greene of Frisco. Evans then noticed two young children inside, also dead. As a father himself, Evans wanted desperately to get the kids out, too. But when he moved the car's airbag, he spotted Wyndell Greene, alive, his eyes looking around and his hands fluttering. Kyle Evans says, "They grabbed a blanket and I threw it over my head and arm...and I just leaned in and I said, 'Give me your arm.' All I seen through the smoke was a hand and I grabbed him by the hand with both my hands and I pulled him out of the vehicle."

Saturday at the crash site, Evans says it tears him apart he couldn't get the kids' bodies out of the burning vehicle and hopes the family doesn't hold it against him.

When I asked him how he's doing, Kyle Evans says, "Seeing what I had seen, I had a hard time sleeping that last night. The images, hopefully like everything else, it'll go away."

Kyle Evans was checked out for smoke inhalation. Four other people were hurt. Wyndell Greene is hospitalized in critical condition with third-degree burns. Kyle Evans is asking all drivers to pay attention behind the wheel. He says it's simple and common sense. But he has witnessed, too many times, the dangers of the road.

TX Towing Co. Under Fire For Inaccessibility To People With Disabilities

Here's the KVUE news story:

A southeast Austin tow truck company is coming under fire for its inaccessibility to people with disabilities.

In late March, 23-year old Tyler Thomas, a person with a disability parked his truck at 608 Rio Grande.

Thomas says he thought he could park in the lot because the business was closed and because his truck has a disability sticker. What he says he couldn't see in the darkness were the towaway signs, a discovery he made the hard way.

"I was in the wrong. I shouldn't have parked in that spot," admitted Thomas, but little did the Texas State University State student know that his problems were just beginning.

Thomas' truck was towed to J&J towing on Linger Lane near Bolm Road. The other side of the front door of the southeast Austin business has a staircase and the window out front where customers pay to get their cars back is elevated and has a stack of cinderblocks to stand on.

The problem is that Tyler Thomas is in a wheelchair.

"I couldn't even get in there to do business with them, I mean how are they going to tow a handicapped vehicle when you can't even get in there to conduct business with them?," questioned Thomas.

Travis County Constable Bruce Elfant says all business operating in Travis County has to comply with the American Disabilities Act or A.D.A. Elfant says there are a few exceptions.

""If we have a citizen in Travis County who's trying to do business with a local business for whatever reason, they want to go purchase something there, they want to go transact something or in this case they want to be able to get their car back they should have access to that business and it is disturbing," said Elfant.

No one from J&J Towing Company returned our repeated requests for an interview nor would anyone answer our questions about whether or not their business or building is an exception to A.D.A. requirements.

"I just want all business to take into consideration when they open up or even if they've been opened up for a while and they're not handicap accessible that we need to get to places too and it's very, very frustrating trying to get in somewhere and you can't," added Thomas.

Constable Elfant also told KVUE that Travis County businesses who do not comply with A.D.A. requirements can be sued.

Elfant encourages people with complaints to contact either his office or Advocacy Incorporated, or the Texas Attorney General's Office.