The Week's Features
Seven of the industry’s finest to be inducted to Hall, October 12
Herring Motor Company keeps classic line alive
Recovery management and technology services now one
Delivers Class 6 capability in a Class 5 Super Duty package
Recovery “dance” lifts overturned truck
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American Towman Magazine Presents the Week in TowingJuly 17 - July 23, 2019
AAA Towman Waylon Mills (left) was recognized by the Massachusetts State Police as having prevented a potential tragedy as he used his tow truck to shield a man in a wheelchair who had wandered into the Prudential Tunnel as traffic rushed past him. Images:, MassDOT.

Towman Shields Man[b] in Wheelchair in Tunnel

Massachusetts Turnpike Police credited AAA towman Waylon Mills with preventing a possible tragedy after he assisted a 56-year-old man in a wheelchair who ended up inside of the Prudential Tunnel as traffic rushed past him.

Around 8:16 a.m. on March 26, officers received calls from several drivers who reported seeing a man in a wheelchair traveling westbound in the tunnel along the Massachusetts Turnpike.

"I saw a head and I'm like, nah," Mills said. "And as I got closer, I saw the wheelchair and the person was just pushing themselves up in the wheelchair. ... Nobody stopped. Everybody was just going around him, some blowing their horns and stuff like that. And I was just shaking my head in the truck saying, 'This is unreal.' "

The man in the wheelchair was unharmed.


PUCO Enforcement [b]Seminar, April 25

All towers in Ohio are welcome and encouraged to attend a Public Utilities Commission of Ohio and Law Enforcement Seminar on Thursday, April 25, at the Canton Police Academy in Canton.

Members of the Ohio State Highway Patrol, PUCO, Stark County Sheriff's office and Canton Police Department will be on hand to explain the laws, rules, regulations and what they are looking for regarding enforcement.

"This event is an excellent opportunity to hear directly from these organizations about keeping your company in compliance," a statement from APTO said, adding that it would provide an opportunity to ask questions regarding motor carrier safety rules and regulations.

There will also be a Traffic Incident Management class along with heavy- and light-duty demonstrations. Lunch will be provided.

Source: APTO.

ITRHFM Announces [b]2019 Hall of Fame Class

The International Towing and Recovery Hall of Fame and Museum announced on April 3 it will add seven people to its Hall of Fame. The Class of 2019 will be inducted in a ceremony on October 12 at the Chattanoogan Hotel in Chattanooga, Tennessee.

The seven newest members are: John Coupland (Dorset, United Kingdom), Michael Cherry (Land O'Lakes, Florida), Jamie Davis (British Columbia, Canada), George Kuntz (Bismarck, North Dakota), Glenn Landau (Daytona Beach, Florida), Quinn Piening (Fremont, California), and Perry Shusta (Antioch, California).

ITRHFM members nominated them for their many contributions to the industry, their families and communities.

"Our Hall of Fame is not about single events or simply participating, but is instead about celebrating those who have worked hard to support and grow our industry's professionalism," said Bill Gratzianna, ITRHFM president. "This year's group of inductees is no exception in their work on behalf of the industry and their leadership inside and outside of the industry."


Tow Truck Hit, Fell Into [b]River; Couple Missing

A family is seeking answers about two missing people who they believe were in a tow truck that plunged off the Pioneer Bridge in Sacramento, California, and into the Sacramento River March 26.

The crash happened around 8:30 p.m. on westbound Highway 50, just west of Interstate 5. The California Highway Patrol said a big rig crashed into the tow truck, catapulting it over the bridge's guardrail and into the Sacramento River. The bridge is about 100 feet above the river.

Shalvinesh and Roselyn Sharma are the owners and operators of Justin's Towing of Sacramento. Family members believe the married couple was in the tow truck when it fell into the river.

Search crews located the tow truck about 30 feet under the water that night, but had to call off recovery efforts because water conditions were too dangerous, West Sacramento Fire Department Battalion Chief Scott Pfeifer said.

Donald Singh, Roselyn Sharma's brother, said he fears the worst. The GPS on the couple's tow truck showed they were driving west on Highway 50, toward Pioneer Bridge at the time of the crash.

"We located the GPS. It says we lost the signal at 8:30 p.m." Singh said. "The tow truck is in the water, and hopefully we can recover them as soon as possible. But so far, there is no help -- there is no help."

Help for the recovery mission was delayed the following day because the Sacramento River was running too fast for divers to go in the water.

"River flows are currently estimated to be between 5 and 6 knots; the fast currents allowable in in public safety diving are between 1 and 3 knots," the Sacramento Drowning Accident Rescue Team said in a statement to a local television station.


WTA Board Rejects AutoReturn

The Wisconsin State Patrol recently asked the Wisconsin Towing Association to weigh in on its debate regarding hiring AutoReturn to work its dispatch. The WTA board discussed a variety of issues and concerns with AutoReturn and issued a letter to the Wisconsin State Patrol against using the company.

The WTA letter did say they would form a committee to "further examine the issue and work with the Wisconsin State Patrol on the matter of new technology as it relates to third-party dispatch services." It is unknown at this time whether WSP will decide to work with AR.

Source: WTA.

City Seeks to Loosen License Restrictions

The Westbrook, Maine, city council will soon consider an ordinance amendment that would loosen restrictions on tow truck operators.

As the city's license ordinances read now, tow truck operators with theft convictions are not allowed to serve city departments, notably the police department. Over the last few months, the council has fielded and approved two appeals from towers who weren't able to tow for the city because they had theft convictions dating back close to 30 years.

With the amendment, tow truck operators convicted of a Class E or D crime or driving offense would be ineligible to provide services to the city for five years. Two such convictions would come with a 10-year ineligibility from the date of the most recent conviction. A conviction of a Class A, B or C crime or driving offense would make the individual permanently ineligible.

"This is definitely a good adjustment that affords some flexibility," said Councilor Mike Foley.

Westbrook Police Capt. Steven Goldberg told committee members he was supportive of the ordinance changes.

"We believe in second chances and people who made a mistake 20, 30 years ago can certainly turn their life around," he said.

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