Saturday, August 7, 2010

Tow Truck Drivers Say Houston Guidelines Encourage Reckless Competition

Here's the story from
HOUSTON—Tow truck operators spoke out Friday, hours after a deadly crash that claimed the life of a wrecker driver in northeast Houston.

The accidents occurred around 1 o’clock Friday morning in the 8900 block of Jensen Drive. Witnesses told police two wrecker drivers were racing when one of them collided with a car and struck a poll.

“It’s not a surprise to see this happen,” said Wilfredo Dejesus, who has been operating a wrecker for the last six years. “It’s a jungle out there, a concrete jungle.”

The man who died had been operating a tow truck for more than 20 years.

“You might make it home or you might not,” added Dejesus, who blamed the rules adopted by city council for creating what he called a climate that rewards reckless behavior.

Those rules guarantee that only the first two wreckers on scene will receive any money.

“Guys are fighting with one another and pulling out knives. It’s all about getting that dollar,” said Dejesus.

 A few years ago, city leaders established strict guidelines regulating tow truck operators on freeways, but not city streets.

Jeanette Rash, the vice president of the Towing and Recovery Association of America, said she has spent years lobbying city hall for safer standards.

“This shouldn’t have happened and I wonder if there was more I could have done,” she said.

Rash believes the city should consider allowing four wrecker drivers at each accident scene.

“I’m hoping we can go back to the table and fix this now,” she added.

No comments: