Sunday, February 18, 2007

GRANDMA GOT BOOTED FROM A TOW TRUCK

We met a Grandmother Saturday night that wanted to pass on some advice to anyone driving along Route 2 this winter. “Make sure you have a bag of cash with you in case you go off the road and are unfortunate enough to have Remington Towing show up to help you.” Betty Pagel was driving home along Route 2 Saturday night just after 8pm when she lost control of her car and went into a ditch just west of Middle Ridge Road. The Ohio State Patrol showed up to help the Grandmother and called for a tow truck to pull her car from the ditch. A short time later Remington Towing service arrived at the scene; Pagel got into the front seat with the driver and he right away asked if she had cash with her. Pagel, who had just come from spending an evening with her Grandchildren, had only $40.00 in cash on her but said that when she got home she could get a debit card or credit card for him. It was then that Pagel said the man told her that for him just showing up costs $75.00 and that he won’t do anything without full cash payment. Pagel told him again that all she had on her was the $40.00; it was then that he told her “get out of my truck, we don’t do billing”. Pagel climbed out of the truck and he drove away. Pagel shared the story with the State Trooper; he then had D&A Towing dispatched to the scene. David Vaughn of D&A Towing and his father David of Vaughn’s Auto Repair, both of South Amherst went to the scene to assist the woman, each in their own truck. While pulling the car out of the ditch a car traveling westbound struck the flatbed tow truck pushing it approximately 6 feet. The car that struck the tow truck received severe front-end damage and had airbag deployment. David Jr. was behind the flatbed truck at the time securing Pagel’s car and was pushed by the truck and thrown back. Although an ambulance was called to the scene for Vaughn he refused transport to the hospital saying he would go get checked out later.

The parents of the young man who was driving the car that struck the tow truck arrived to see their son and check things out. The father was quick to say that he didn’t understand why the tow trucks had to be where they were making their son strike the truck. The young man stated that he did not see the trucks and that he believed he was traveling approximately 25mph.

Once the State Patrol cleared the trucks Vaughn went to Pagel and told her that they were going to take her car to a safer place to lower it and release it to her. Pagel, sitting in the back of the Patrol car, reached for her $40.00 and offered it to Vaughn who quickly refused and said, “no charge ma’am” and walked away. Pagel said that gestured made her believe that there are certainly people who care in this world. Pagel also was upset that Vaughn’s truck was struck and that the younger Vaughn was injured. “If that rude man had helped me in the first place none of this would have happened. I am glad though that I met these two kind men and the Patrolmen, they have showed me so much kindness.”

15 Comments:

Blogger BillsBrokenLyrics2A said...

This story is just unbelievable! This is not the first time I have heard unfavorable things about Remington towing. Do these dippy doddle nuts expect every single driver on the road to have that much cash on them at all times, sounds like this driver was trying some shady shifting on this unfortunate women to put some cash in HIS pocket before returning to the office. Hey, 10,000 kudos to Dave and Dave Vaughn for thier upmost kindness. Yes, there are some wonderful people in this world that will go out of thier way to help someone in need. On the flip side though, I wonder why that young driver didnt see all the flashing emergency/yellow light bars on the OSP car and tow truck, and why he didnt merge into the opposite lane. Correct me if Im wrong, but is there not a law now in Ohio and most states to do that when there are emergency vehicles on the shoulder??

9:00 AM  
Anonymous Kurt said...

Funny, I drove through there after work and you could see the lights flashing before you even get to the exit ramp coming from the east.
Someone was either busy on a phone or into their music, lol.

2:39 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

My husband is a tow truck operator in Elyria so we know all three of these tow truck companys. This is an unfortunate event that happened last night and it could have been prevented if remington would not of been such a stickler for cash. I am good friends wiht little Dave he is a great friend, business man, and is always out to help others before himself. Way to go Little Dave and Big Dave.
ps. there is no way someone could not have seen the light bars flashing.

5:50 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

MUST BE SOMEBODY HIGH UP IN RANK AT THE HIGHWAY PATROL POST#47 ALLOWING SUCH A SHADY COMPANY REPRESENT THEM AND TREAT THE MOTORING PUBLIC IN SUCH MANNER AS THEY DO THIS IS NOT THE FIRST COMPLAINT ABOUT THIS OUTFIT AND THERE SHADY EQUIPMENT SUCH AS A PICKUP TRUCK AND A TRAILER OR HIGHLY ASTRONOMICAL PRICING TO BE MADE TO THE PATROL POST BUT THEY STILL CONTINUE TO SERVICE THREE DIFFERENT POST,SO I GUESS WHAT IT COMES DOWN TO IS ANYBODY WITH A TRUCK +TRAILER AND A DRUG MART RECIEPT BOOK ALONG WITH A MAGIC INK PEN CAN TOW FOR THE OHIO STATE PATROL,SO IF YOU OWN ONE HEAD ON OVER TO THE POST AND PUT YOURSELF ON THE WRECKER LIST,OBVIOUSLY THEY CANT REFUSE YOU THEY HAVE ALLOWED THESE YAHOOS TO DO IT THIS LONG SO WE SHOULD ALL BE ENTITLED TO DO SO,THEY ARE NOT GOING TO DO ANYTHING ABOUT IT UNTIL THESE GUYS GET SOMEBODY OR ONE OF THE TROOPERS KILLED,AS IF THEY DONT TAKE A BIG ENOUGH RISK ON THESE ROADWAYS ALREADY,THERE BOSSES PUT THEM IN A MORE DANGEROUS SITUATION WITH PEOPLE LIKE THIS.WONDER WHAT KIND OF DEAL IS WORKED OUT THERE?I THINK SOMEBODY HIGHER UP SHOULD LOOK INTO THIS AND FIND OUT WHY A LT. WOULD ALLOW THIS TO GO ON AND HOW MANY COMPLAINTS HE HAS HAD IF HE DONT WANT TO DO HIS JOB AND PROTECT HIS TROOPERS FIND SOMEBODY WHO DOES.BEFORE TMCNEWS IS DOING A REPORT ON A FATAL OUTCOME NEXT TIME,OR THESE GUYS LEAVE SOMEBODY SIT BECAUSE THEY DONT HAVE CASH AND THAT PERSON GETS RAPED OR BEATEN OR WORSE,GEE IF REMINGTON WAS SUMMONED BY OSP AND THAT HAPPENS I AM SURE OSP WOULD HAVE LIABILITY FOR SUCH.BY THE WAY IF YOU GO TO PUT YOUR NAME ON THE ROTATION AND ARE REFUSED I WOULD SEEK AN ATORNEY,ITS EXUSABLE FOR ONE IT SHOULD BE FOR ALL,I WONDER HOW YOU PROPERLY INSURE EQUIPMENT LIKE THAT SURELY YOU WOULD NEED HIGHER INSURANCE COVERAGE TO TOW FOR OSP,AND A TRAILER IS NOT CONSIDERED COMMERCIAL TOWING EQUIPMENT,JUST ANOTHER ONE OF THOSE QUESTIONABLE DECISIONS MADE BY SOMEBODY HIGHER UP THAN WE ARE.NO OTHER POLICE DEPARTMENTS,I WOULD HOPE ALLOW FOR THIS KIND OF SHADY SORRY SERVICE REPRESENT THEM YOU WOULD THINK OSP WOULD BE THE LAST TO DO SO,BUT I GUESS THATS WHY WE DONT GET PAID TO THINK BUT THE ONES WHO DO OBVIOUSLY DONT OR WE WOULDNT BE HERE TALKING ABOUT THIS NOW GOOD JOB LT. KEEP UP THE GOOD WORK WITH YOU THERE TMC SHOULD HAVE A GOOD FUTURE,YOUR LIKE JOB SECURITY.HOPEFULLY THE NEXT STORY WE READ WILL BE ABOUT IMPROVEMENTS MADE AND QUICKER WAYS TO GET YOUR TROOPS OFF THE SIDE OF THESE ROADS AS OPPOSED TO HAVING THEM SIT ON THE SIDE OF A HIGHWAY AND WAIT FOR A WRECKER TO COME FROM ACROSS THE COUNTY LEAVING THEM EXPOSED AND IN HARMS WAY THERE HAS TO BE A BETTER SYSTEM,AND WITH THAT AND MORE AWARENESS AND ENFORCEMENT OF THE MOVE OVER LAW WE WONT HAVE TO READ ANY REPORTS OF TROOPER OR WRECKER OPERATOR FATALITIES ALTHOUGH NOTHING IS FAIL PROOF LRTS AT LEAST TRY.A LITTLE AWARENESS GOES A LONG WAY IF YOU TRY. I HOPE THIS IS TAKEN TO HEART AND GIVEN SOME SERIOUS THOUGHT AND NOT JUST BLOWN OFF LIKE ANY OTHER TIME THESE ARE HUMAN LIVES OUT THERE ,FATHERS,MOTHERS,BROTHERS SISTERS,ECT HOPEFULLY YOU GET THE POINT BEFORE SOMEBODY HAS TO LOSE A FAMILY MEMBER BEFORE SOMETHINGS DONE THANK YOU AND BE SAFE ON THE ROAD ANY EMERGENCY PERSONNEL READING THIS AND PLEASE PUT IN YOUR COMMENTS ESPECIALLY YOU FIRE FIGHTERS THAT SIT THERE AND WAIT IN THAT HAZARD WITH THE OSP,YOU KNOW HOW MANY TIMES YOU HAVE HAD TO SIT IN HARMS WAY AWAITING THE ARRIVAL OF A TOW TRUCK WHEN THERE MAY BE ONE RIGHT AROUHD THE CORNER,BUT IT WAS NOT HIS TURN YOU KNOW WHO PROVIDES GOOD SERVICE IN A TIMELY MANNER AND WHO KNOWS WHAT THERE DOING YOU COULD BE A BIG INFLUENCE AND MAKE ALL ARE LIVES SAFER SO PLEASE LET OTHERS KNOW AND LIVES CAN BE SPARED.WHEN SOMEBODY NEEDS AN AMBULANCE THEY DONT WAIT FOR ONE TO COME FROM MILES AWAY IT SHOULD WORK THAT WAY FOR EVERYTHING.WHAT OPINION DO YOU THINK REMINGTON GAVE GRANDMA ABOUT ALL TOWING SERVICES IT TAKES ONE BAD APPLE TO SPOIL A BUNCH.HOPEFULLY SHE WILL NOT HOLD THAT OPINION ABOUT ALL TOWERS

7:29 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

lynn said...
I was the anonymous post at 5:50. I did not realize that anonymous posts are not allowed so can my post please stay so that I do not have to redo it.
Lynn

12:32 AM  
Blogger TMC NEWS said...

Yes Lynn, it will stay up. Thanks

12:43 AM  
Blogger Dan O. said...

I believe the law states to move over a lane if possible and to slow down and pass by with due caution if not able to move over (paraphrased, of course).

And "why were the tow trucks where they were?"! Are you kidding me?! What good would they do somewhere else? Another case of "it couldn't be MY boy's fault." Get a clue parents. Your kids don't learn everything you think you've taught them. IF you tried to teach them anything.

12:34 PM  
Blogger Dave said...

The State Patrol has a really tough job of weeding through these tow companies. I was working a call with them back in the summertime when Mugg's Elyria towing showed up with a flatbed to haul away an SUV and a car that were involved in a MVA. Once loaded and hooked up, the one state trooper noticed large chunks of rubber missing from the tow trucks tires. He immediately radioed in to dispatch and had them send another wrecker from another company. The trooper then made the Mugg's truck pull into a parking lot and wait for a tow truck to haul it back to the shop. The troopers took the time to make sure that the tow truck was safe enough to haul away the vehicles. These troopers do an amazing job. Alot of towing companies around Lorain County do an excellent job. Maybe after reading some of this feedback, OSP will toss out this one bad apple!

10:06 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Becky said,
Hi Dave I am not going to try to step on your toes or anything but please get your information right before you publicize it. I am a dispatcher at Mug's Elyria Towing I recall the night you are talking about becasue I was dispatching that night at Elyria Towing. OSP called wanting 2 wreckers and I said that I only had a flatbed available and they said to send the flatbed for both veh. Mind you this was the dispatcher that said this and did not advise the trooper of this. When my driver arrived on scene the trooper wanted to know why my guy had a flatbed out there instead of 2 wreckers. My driver said that he could get both vehicles with the flatbed and the trooper said that he would not be towing either. The OSP already knew about our tires because we had them on order from Bob's Tire and OSP was informed. The trooper just was upset because there was not 2 wreckers and this is the real reason why we were refused the tows. Also, my driver did not have to wait for another truck to tow him back to the shop he drove the truck that was supposed to be unsafe on the roads. Now you tell me if this truck had really bad tires on it than why would my guy have been allowed to drive it back to the shop? Now don't get me wrong these tires did need changed but it was not like OSP made it seem like. OSP still needs to look out for citizens and emergency vehicles, these Troopers normally only refuse a company a tow becasue they do not like the person driving the truck or they know whose turn it is next on the rotation list.

8:29 PM  
Blogger Dave said...

Good Morning Becky. I believe we are discussing two separate incidents. The incident I am describing did not end with the Muggs Tow truck driving off on it's own power. It was towed away by another tow truck. OSP would not permit the tow vehicle to take the tow or drive on it's own. OSP was VERY upset with that situation. It had nothing to do with one or two wreckers. It had everything to do with the safety of the tow vehicle. OSP recognized this and did an amazing job of making it right. I was not trying to say that Mugs towing is a bad apple. I was using them to describe the fine job that OSP does when dealing with problematic scenes. Remington is the bad apple.

8:52 AM  
Anonymous becky said...

Dave no we are talking about the same incident. The other company that came out was Vaughn and my driver and Vaughn backed the two flatbeds up together in order to just unload the SUV from our flatbed to Vaughn. This was really not a safety issue but I would have been happy if it truely was. This is the kind of safety issues thast need to be addressed on a regular basis not just here or there on the side of the road. There needs to be more precautions taken for these tow truck companies and other emergency type of vehicles on the side of the roads. Now don't get me wrong I am not trying to say that Elyria Towing was right or wrong, what I am saying is where is the protection or safety for my men and other emergency workers on these highways. That comes back to OSP inforcing laws and that they also need to do inspections on a regular basis on these tow trucks for safety.

12:32 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hats off to D&A Towing and Vaughns Towing, for coming to the rescue of the grandmother who was already shaken up and then booted due to lack of money to cover the call. I forgot that in todays economy, everyone has at least $100 or more for pocket change. Remington Towing does not have a official "wrecker", they have a pickup truck with a boom and that is what they refer to as a wrecker. They inflate their bills and take advantage of the public. If Remington had to actually purchase commerical towing equipment, they would go out of business. As far as the boy hitting Vaughns truck, I hope that he is cited and their insurance is made to pay for all repairs and lost wages for the truck being down. Ohio does have a pull over law but nobody cares for the safety of our law enforcement or the towing companies that are on the side of the road assisting other stranded motorists. I feel if a motorist has a accident, like this, that the driver be required to take a driving course, to better his awareness of situations of this sort, and be put on probation to further detail his driving performance. There is no excuse for this type of accident and to say that the trucks were not where they should have been ... oops I forgot, who does this day in and day out?? Wake up and make people take responsibility for their actions. Dave is EXTREMELY lucky that he was not seriously injured or hurt to where his lively hood would be in question. As usual, pay attention to your surroundings while driving! Flashings lights, which D&A has a awesome display, means slow down, PROCEED with CAUTION.

10:20 PM  
Anonymous DAVE VAUGHN JR. said...

I WOULD LIKE FOR dave TO CLERIFY THAT HE IS NOT A VAUGHN,SOME EMPLOYEES AT ELYRIA TOWING ARE UNDER THE IMPRESSION THAT YOU MAY BE,MY FATHER AND I HAVE A GOOD WORKING RELATIONSHIP WITH ALICE AND ROCKY AS WELL AS THE WHOLE ELYRIA TOWING STAFF AS WE TRY TO HAVE WITH ALL THE LOCAL TOWING COMPANYS,IT WAS BROUGHT TO MY ATTN TODAY THAT THIS ARTICLE HAD SOME COMMENTS IN REGARDS TO AN INCIDENT WITH ELYRIA TOWING,I AM NOT GOING TO GET IN YOUR ARGUMENTS BUT OBVIOUSLY YOU WERE NOT AT THE SEEN WHEN THE VEHICLES IN QUESTION WERE TOWED,I REMEMBER IT WELL AND THE ONLY PEOPLE THERE AT THAT TIME WERE ME MY FATHER,THE TROOPER AND THE DRIVER FROM ELYRIA TOWING.AND I WILL STATE FACT BECAUSE I WAS THERE,THE VEHICLES WERE REMOVED FROM ELYRIA TOWINGS TRUCK AND LOADED ON TO OURS WHERE WE IN FACT FOLLOWED ELYRIA TOWING OUT OF THE DRIVEWAY AS THEY DROVE THE TRUCK AWAY,IT WAS NOT TOWED,I DO AGREE WITH THE TROOPERS DECISION WHETHER IT WAS THEM US OUR ANYBODY,THAT TROOPER TAKES A BIG RISK TO HIMSELF KNOWING THERE IS A PROBLEM AS SUCH AND ALLOWING IT TO GO,IF SOMETHING WOULD HAPPEN HE COULD VERY WELL BE HELD RESPONSIBLE.MY FATHER HAS SPENT OVER THIRTY YEARS IN THIS BUSINESS BUILDING A GOOD NAME,MY WIFE AND I HAVE BEEN DOING THIS FOR SIX OF OUR OWN,I GREW UP IN THE FRONT SEAT OF THAT TRUCK WATCHING THE DANGERS+HEARTACHES OF THIS BUSINESS BUT FOR SOME REASON I LOVE IT AND CANT IMAGINE DOING ANYTHING ELSE,WHAT MY FATHER+I DID ON SATURDAY NIGHT,WE DID NOT DO FOR BROWNIE POINTS OR BUTT KISSING,IF I HAD A DOLLAR FOR EVERYTIME I WATCHED MY DAD DO THAT OVER THE PAST THIRTY YEARS OF MY LIFE I WOULD PROBABLY NEVER HAVE TO WORK AGAIN,PEOPLE MAY THINK THERE IS NO APPRECIATION FOR HELPING PEOPLE IN SUCH A MANNER AND ITS ALL ABOUT THAT MIGHTY DOLLAR BUT IF THATS YOUR OPINION JUST LOOK AT MY DAD 30 YEARS LATER WORD OF MOUTH GOS A LOT FARTHER THAN A 100 BILL EVER WILL.MY DAD AND I HAVE A GOOD RELATIONSHIP WITH ALMOST ALL THE TOWING COMPANYS IN LORAIN COUNTY,ESPECIALLY ELYRIA TOWING I HELP THEM WHEN THEY ARE BUSY AS WELL THEY DO THE SAME FOR US I WOULD GREATLY APPRECIATE THE CLERIFICATION dave PLEASE,AS FAR AS SATURDAY NIGHTS INCIDENT IS CONCERNED,I BELEIVE THE LAST QUESTION FROM ANY TOW TRUCK OPERATOR SHOULD HAVE TO ANY STRANDED MOTORIST IS ABOUT THE PAYMENT,ANYBODY WITH A HEART WILL GET THEM AS WELL AS THERE VEHICLE TO SAFETY TO PREVENT ANY FURTHER DAMAGE OR HARM IF I AM GOING TO TAKE THE TIME AND USE THE FUEL TO DRIVE TO THE SCENE I AM GOING TO DO THE SERVICE,EVERY PERSON THAT A DRIVER MEETS ON THAT ROAD IS A POTENTIAL CUSTOMER FOR LIFE IF TREATED RIGHT,PLEASE DONT TAKE THIS THE WRONG WAY WE NEED TO BE PAYED FOR OUR SERVICES,BUT THERE ARE PROPER PROFFESIONAL WAYS OF DOING SO.WE MAY NOT HAVE CHARGED GRANDMA SATURDAY,BUT WE DID OBTAIN A LIFELONG CUSTOMER AS WELL AS TAKING THAT SOURNESS SHE MAY HAVE HAD TOWARD ALL TOWING COMPANYS,WHAT ONE COMPANY DOES REFLECTS ALL.YOU WILL NOT BECOME A MILLIONARE OVER NIGHT IN THIS BUSINESS,ACTUALLY YOU PROBABLY NEVER WILL BUT [TREAT PEOPLE RIGHT GO HOME AND SLEEP GOOD AT NIGHT.]THIS SPEECH IS NOT COMING FROM SOMEONE WHO JUST GOT INTO THIS LINE OF WORK IT HAS BEEN MY LIFE AND IN MY BLOOD SINCE BIRTH YOU HAVE TO HAVE SOME ETHICS OUR YOU DONT NEED TO BE SERVING THE PUBLIC YOU WILL NEVER MAKE EVERYBODY HAPPY BUT LETS GIVE IT A SHOT. THERE IS ENOUGH BUSINESS IN LORAIN COUNTY THAT ALL GOOD COMPANYS CAN STAY BUSY SO THOSE WHO HAVE BUILT A GOOD COMPANY WITH SOME ETHICS KEEP UP THE GOOD WORK AND BE SAFE YOU KNOW WHO YOU ARE AND PLEASE LETS WORK TOGETHER AND TRY TO GET THIS MOVE OVER LAW ENFORCED,OR AT LEAST MAKE PEOPLE AWARE,I ENJOY COMING HOME TO MY WIFE AND SIX KIDS AND AFTER SATURDAY NIGHT I JUST WANT TO TELL ANYBODY WORKING ON THE SIDE OF THESE ROADWAYS DONT FORGET TO TELL YOUR FAMILY HOW MUCH YOU LOVE THEM AND SPEND WHAT TIME YOU CAN WITH THEM CAUSE THERES ALWAYS THAT CHANCE WHEN YOU WALK OUT THAT DOOR YOU MAY NOT COME BACK IN,THIS IS MY SECOND EXPERIENCE IN FOUR YEARS THE LAST ONE WAY MORE SEVER THAN THIS ONE,AND BOTH TIMES BY SOMEBODY MUCH YOUNGER THAN ME NOT WORRIED ABOUT TAKING MY LIFE OR ANYBODY ELSES,I COULD HAVE LOST MY FATHER SATURDAY[IN WHICH 10 MORE SECONDS I PROBABLY WOULD HAVE,LUCKILY I DIDNT] OR MY CHILDREN COULD HAVE LOST THERES THANK GOD OVER TIME I WILL HEAL BUT AT LEAST I CAN STILL GET TO COME HOME TO MY FAMILY AND AT THE END OF THE DAY THATS WHAT MATTERS MOST WOUNDS WILL HEAL DEATH WONT SO PLEASE ANYBODY READING THIS KEEP IT IN MIND AS YOUR DRIVING DOWN THE HIGHWAY AND SEE THOSE FLASHING LIGHTS PLEASE [MOVE OVER]THE LIFE YOU SAVE MAY BE MINE. THANK YOU D.L.V.JR

11:51 PM  
Blogger Dave said...

I am not a Vaughn. I have worked scenes with them many times, and I have the utmost respect for the job that they do. I also have great respect for Elyria Towing, as they also do a great job. I was merely pointing out the tough job the OSP troopers have and how they pay attention to all aspects of a scene, even during the hook-up and tow. Everyone needs to obey the law and move over/slow down/proceed with caution around emergency vehicles and tow trucks. I'm glad that no one was seriously hurt in Saturdays incident. it could have been much worse. To the parents of the kid that hit the tow truck, step up to the plate, accept that your child is still a child and makes mistakes.

9:48 AM  
Blogger Rick D said...

From Rick Davis: I am Rick Davis, owner of Remington Towing. Here is my first hand response to some very reckless and irresponsible comments made about my organization and an individual within the Ohio State Highway Post 47. These comments were initiated by the owner of a competing tow truck operation with a few follow-up contributions by others. Given the scurrilous attack on my reputation as a business owner I feel it is in order to respond.

As is often the case, nothing is seldom as it seems at first glance. The choice of words and innuendo can be compelling, yet lack significant elements of truth. Often such stories carry an agenda that favors the party or parties who want to engage in a smear campaign to benefit themselves. Often there are different versions and sides to each and every story. For example the word “news” implies some journalistic integrity. Let’s be honest here. The individuals writing such articles and posting them are most likely not impartial journalists. Anyone can write anything and post it. This is nothing more than a blog site.

The implications stated, implied and suggested in this blog posting and subsequent comments and musings by others might even be considered as libelous in a court of law. In responding to these accusations, I will rely on factual statements, ask some thought provoking questions and let the readers decide whose reputation should be brought into question. Indeed, I think the real motivation and intent of this article will be brought to light.

Imagery is a powerful; descriptive tool. It relies on our brains to fallback on certain inherent perceptions. What image arises out of the word “Grandma” as was used in the title of the article. Many individuals would automatically envision an elderly, bespectacled woman with a warm smile, a cane, perhaps a walker and just the faint wisp of homemade cookies. Well here is my story. You see I was there. I was the tow truck operator initially called to the seen. Here are some facts along with some thought-provoking clarifications, observations and questions in response to the initial posting as well as to others who have felt compelled to chime in:

 First, to set the record straight, I have been in operation for fifteen years as a tow truck owner/operator and as an automotive repair shop. For twelve years, I have operated in the same location. I am not some fly-by-night organization. I have a flat bed truck and a custom-built tow truck rated as a one-ton vehicle with a 9,000 lb. winch, a slide-in Pierce towing unit rated to lift 3,000 lbs. and pull 9,000 lbs. (For the layperson’s benefit, the only difference between my truck and a “wrecker” is the body type, the chassis is virtually the same. Pierce is one of the top manufacturers of fire safety equipment and towing equipment in the nation. I prefer a pick-up style bed because there is less width and I can get into tight spots that wrecker bodies cannot.) I also have a hydraulic, tilt-bed recovery trailer and carry all safety equipment i.e., site clean-up and response equipment to fit many varied needs. My trucks and trailers are equipped with workable lights and all standard safety equipment. All are commercially rated and P.U.C.O. licensed. My trucks carry the required “special” designated plates required by Ohio law for legal towing. (Again for the layperson, this requires an onsite inspection from the Bureau of Motor Vehicles who must first approve your operation and equipment before they will issue such plates.) I carry required insurance on all my vehicles. I am on the list of approved tow truck operators throughout the area. Any call rotation list I do not appear on is per my choice, not because I lack in service capability, reliability or safety.
 The “grandma” involved in this incident was certainly not what would be regarded as elderly. Although it is true, I have no immediate way of knowing, I would conjecture that the customer was no more than 55 years old and probably several years younger than that. It would be fair to say that she had little difficulty in getting into and out of my truck without assistance and with coffee cup in hand.
 She lost control of her vehicle near an entrance ramp due to weather conditions. Her vehicle was approximately 50 feet from the road surface. She was well clear of the road and the vehicle did not create an emergency removal situation. In fact, the state trooper picked her up and dropped her off at a nearby McDonald’s restaurant where she was able to obtain warmth, food and shelter and to summon help. She was not left to fend for herself in inclement weather.
 Upon entering the cab of my vehicle, SHE immediately volunteered that she had only $39 in cash on her and that she had left her purse and credit cards at home. This was prior to my even discussing my fees for service. Rather than have her incur an added towing fee for delivering her vehicle some thirty miles away, I suggested that she would be better off to re contact the patrol and/or another operator. I simply told her I was not in a position to help her. The imagery created in the article is that somehow I ordered and/or physically threw her out of my truck. We were in the McDonald’s parking lot within a few feet of the door. When I stated I was not in a position to help her, she exited my truck and walked the few feet back into the McDonalds restaurant. I did not know this person, but based on past experience (many experiences in fact), I opted to cut my losses and move on. (Bear in mind I had already incurred the cost of coming to and from my home to provide a towing service.)
 As an owner and operator, the public should know that our industry is rampant with police ordered and requested tows involving a variety of unfortunate and unplanned situations that were exacerbated by people leaving home unprepared. Many drivers have no money on them or lack credit cards. I have heard every excuse, every promise to pay you could image. Bounced checks, disputed credit charges…you name it. I have personally been the victim of having performed a bonafied service only to be denied my legitimate service fee. Go to court? Hire a collections firm? I am a small business man. The profit margin in our industry is not high enough to support these endeavors and often you still cannot collect. Over the years I have provided innumerable towing and recovery services often in the middle of the night, often in inclement--sometimes bitterly cold weather and in dangerous situations. My choice? You bet. The fact that Dave’s son of D & A Towing experienced a personal injury is unfortunate, but underscores the danger of our business.
 An acceptable rate on priority towing for a service call and hook-up called in by local police and Ohio Highway Patrol organizations is $125, plus a per miles towing fee. Can you accept less as an operator? Yes. I ascertained this not to be an emergency priority call. Therefore, I reduced my normal service call and hook-up fee due to the weather conditions to $75 in that it would require use of my winch to bring the customer’s vehicle back to the roadway. Often the service fee cannot be predetermined in that site circumstances might make the recovery operation more or less involved.
 Again, this was not an emergency towing need as evidenced by the fact that the trooper left the scene. The vehicle could have remained by the roadside for up to 48 hours. The customer indicated she had spent the evening with her grandchildren. Certainly a relative would have been available to provide her transportation assistance or she had the option of calling a cab service to take her home or back to her grandchildren’s residence so that she could handle the matter of getting her vehicle the next morning.
 Do you tell the car repair service to fix your car, then pick your vehicle up in the afternoon and tell them to send you a bill? No. You pay before you get your keys.
 I did not leave my house without my purse. I did not place myself in this situation. In this day and age it is simply not wise to leave home without an ATM card, debit card and/or credit cards. Somehow, this individual’s unpreparedness, perhaps negligence is somehow my fault. In that she did not have her purse, it would not be unreasonable to assume that she also did not have her state operator’s license (a violation of the laws for the state of Ohio). Look, we all make mistakes. Accept responsibility and move on. Don’t unfairly transfer your shortfalls to someone else. That is the only point I wish to make here.
 If I had towed this individual to her house, I would need to have charged her for the towing mileage or like Dave at Vaughn’s Auto Repair or his son Dave, at D & A Towing, forgone my financial investment and worked for free. As Dave Jr. mentioned in his comments, you don’t get rich in the towing business. But must you place yourself in the position of performing services without any assurance of being paid? In this line of business, most folks, regardless of what you charge them, think that you are charging them too much. My rates are generally no more than any other operator’s rates.
 Don’t I deserve to protect my investment? I have a family and financial obligations as well. Dave at D & A chose to waive his fee. I am sure this customer appreciated the gesture. Yet if the gesture was out of the kindness of his heart, perhaps both father and son would step up and be willing to volunteer their services for ALL such circumstances? They can be the resident “knights in shining amour”. What good guys. Wait as minute… Who felt compelled to bring this customer’s supposed dire plight to this chat site? That’s right. It was Dave at Vaughn’s Auto Repair and/or Dave (his son) at D & A Towing. You do a good deed and now you should crow about it? Better yet, let’s make it bigger than what it really was, sensationalize it, and then bring into question the motives of some unnamed individual at the Ohio State Patrol post while generating some advertising for you. (In reviewing the initial posted “article” note the emboldening of both their organizations’ names.)
 Within the same “article” they malign not one towing operation, but two of their competitors. Be it noted that the one towing operation Dave maligns was not even involved in this tow in any way. Dave appointed himself as judge and jury in his cyber court.
 Well Dave, or Dave, would your trucks pass inspection? I know your vehicles and I know your operations. I would be very careful about what you are saying in such a public forum. It could well come back to haunt you. At very least, you have embarrassed yourselves by bending the facts and attempting to place halos upon yourselves. Here’s a question to both Daves… If I solicit responses from your previous customers, will all the comments be positive? I think not. I have heard my share of complaints about your operations from customers who have come to me.
 Dave brought up the issue of safety. As a tow truck operator with over twenty-five years experience, I would question why any operator would send two vehicles for a simple pick-up at an entrance ramp. That, in itself creates a dangerous situation, by adding to the congestion and narrowing the passing capability for other drivers entering the on-ramp. From a business standpoint, by sending two trucks you effectively took one truck out of service while tying up two drivers. Is that smart business? Perhaps you might do better in analyzing and assessing your own businesses rather than taking on the supposed heartlessness and implied safety deficiencies of other towing operators and bringing into question the integrity of individual law enforcement officers. You might want to start interviewing attorneys while you are at it.
 As mentioned previously, this is a dangerous business with lots of hazards. The second-hand quote attributed to the customer and a subsequent comment from “anonymous” was that if I had recovered and towed her vehicle (and taken my chances at getting paid), that the accident which occurred would not have happened. True, or, maybe I would have been the one to have been hit instead. Perhaps Dave and/or his son might have been called to another site and been injured there, or even killed.

I have a final question and comment here. How sincere is Dave’s gesture of waiving his service fee, then announcing the gratuitous selflessness to the world? Do the readers miss the fact that it was DAVE an owner at Vaughn’s Auto Repair and/or or his son Dave at D & A Towing who felt duty-bound to report to word of their supposed heroic kindness? We too, have performed services to the community and to individuals over our many years of service. Unlike you, we choose not to grandify these moments and these occasions and turn them into advertising fodder, and opportunities to malign our competitors or question the integrity of state law officials. Your announcement veiled as “news” coupled with a sensationalized version of the plight of this customer and your individual heroics should be transparent to any reader. Be very careful when you embark to distort and manipulate the truth. It appears that the real motivations behind your supposed “news” article and warning to the public, is to malign the reputation of your competitors through innuendo, exaggeration and implication. Your attempts to somehow imply dereliction of duty and favoritism on the part of the Ohio State Patrol is nothing less than egregious. This transparent bullying attempt is clearly intended to reduce competition via elimination of competitors from the towing list. Maybe one or both of you DAVEs, should self appoint as the safety and operations czar(s) of towing operations. In the meantime, if you readers want and expect your towing services and/or auto repair services to be free, hey call Dave at Vaughn’s Auto Repair or Dave at D& A Towing.

The use of anonymous and/or clever cyber nicknames on the blog site serves to hide true identities and as such vested interests and hidden agendas. I, for one, am always skeptical of those who won’t stand and be known.

What you see in print is not always factual. Newspapers and magazines often contain factual statements as well as false and or distorted information either by error or by design. Blog sites are rampant with undocumented opinion stating and malicious gossip. Because it is in print doesn’t mean it is so. Don’t be hoodwinked. The majority of you readers are smarter than that!

To David Jr. who sustained an apparent injury, I wish you a speedy recovery in spite of any apparent differences we might have.

As for the public, cash payment upon completion of a towing and/or recovery service, (in lieu of a membership in a roadside assistance program), is considered an acceptable operating practice within the towing industry. Be prepared when driving, especially during the winter months. Carry enough cash, credit cards, your operator’s license and proof of insurance. Be certain you have enough gas and a spare tire, perhaps a cell phone. These tips will help you in an emergency. If you need a towing service, we are listed in the book along with several others. Call and you can review our prices and methods of payment in advance of an emergency or roadside mishap. Be safe and be careful.

Rick Davis, Owner/Operator
Remington Towing

10:59 AM  

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