The Week's Features
Towman is alive today because of trooper's response
Forest green unit and red and yellow stripes oozes power
Mack dump gets stuck in the ditch
Kit uses B/A's patented Rollback Tie-Down System
South Carolina man arrested in repo
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American Towman Magazine Presents the Week in TowingJanuary 18 - January 24, 2017
Trooper Michael Corey is honored for his quick response in saving towman Don Wensyl’s life by rendering aid after an accident. Shown from left are Chad Coulson, co-owner of Bill’s Towing, Wensyl, Corey and Ohio Lt. James M. Faunda.

Trooper Honored for [b]Saving Towman's Life

Towman Don Wensyl is alive today because of the quick reaction and training of Ohio State Highway Patrol Trooper Michael Corey, who rendered aid during a freak accident.

Corey was honored Jan. 6 with a certificate of recognition from the superintendent of the Ohio State Highway Patrol.

On the evening of Sept. 17, Wensyl, a tower with Bill's Towing in Bridgeport, was called to a one-vehicle crash to recover a car that had gone over an embankment and into a creek.

"I've done this numerous times over the last 40 years. I was winching a car up out of the creek," Wensyl said, but this time the frame of the car broke, the tow hook snapped loose and caused the cable to slingshot back and strike Wensyl across the face, resulting in severe lacerations.

Corey, who is also a medic with the patrol's Mobile Field Force, retrieved his first aid equipment from his patrol car and applied pressure to Wensyl's wounds in an effort to stop the bleeding. Wensyl lost 2 liters of blood during the incident.

Wensyl does not believe he would have survived without Corey's help.

"The surgeons did a pretty good job on it, but I had 150 stitches inside my eye socket," Wensyl said. "The trooper had enough gauze in his car to treat eight gunshot wounds—that didn't stop it, but it slowed it down. If it hadn't been for him, I would have bled to death because we were in a remote area. ... He did a fantastic job—over and above."

"It's just another day at work," Corey said. "It's not something you really expect to do at work in law enforcement, but you have to be prepared for anything."

Chad and Ty Coulson, co-owners of Bill's Towing, thanked Corey for his expertise and dedication.


Sheriff Could Lose [b]Tow Authority

The Lake County (Ind.) Council moved forward with ordinances that strip authority over towing contracts from Sheriff John Buncich after allegations of his involvement in a kickback scheme with tow operators.

Two ordinances were introduced in a council workshop recently: one that would strip power from the sheriff regarding towing matters and a second that would redirect any funds collected from towing in the Sheriff's Department budget to the county.

The 2017 vehicle towing ordinance would give authority to award towing contracts to county commissioners instead of the sheriff. A second ordinance would repeal and replace the sheriff's towing fee and towing company franchise fee non-reverting fund, where moneys collected from towing companies now go, and redirect those funds to the county's general fund.

The county's move to take more control over the towing contracts follows allegations of corruption federal authorities leveled against Buncich and former Police Chief Timothy Downs for taking bribes from tow operators.


Towman Organized [b]Move Over Event in Mo.

A convoy of tow trucks, Missouri Dept. of Transportation workers and first responders took to I-70 in Kansas City, Mo., to promote awareness of the Move Over law on Jan. 7.

Montana Diamond, a driver for the Jackson County Tow Service, organized the event.

"We're just tired of getting hit. We want to make it home to our families at the end of the day like anyone else would," said Diamond.

Added Jeff Jewel, fire chief of the Inner City Fire Department, "People aren't paying attention. Maybe they're texting on their phones or driving while impaired. So it's just an opportunity for us to drive around town with our lights on and drive around in solidarity."


Driver Doesn't Like [b]Wash. Plan

Washington state plans to open up parts of Interstate 5 to allow shoulder driving starting this summer, when the state will let buses drive part of the shoulder south of Everett. But Amanda Batterson of Skip's Everett Towing doesn't like that idea.

"It's really frightening to me that they want to use our workspace as a road," Batterson said. She operated a tow truck until she was hit by a car. She said the policy endangers police officers and emergency responders as well as towers.

Washington state says it will keep everybody safe by closing down the shoulder when there's an accident.


Towing Suit Dismissed

A Chesterfield (Va.) Circuit Court judge has dismissed a lawsuit filed against the county last year by a local towing company.

The judge ruled that Chesterfield's police chief acted within the scope of his authority when he removed Central City Towing from the county's rotation in 2015.

Central City Towing sought $500,000 in damages for breach of contract and immediate restoration to the rotation. The county contends the tow company violated the contract by overcharging the owners of two vehicles for towing services following an October 2014 accident.

Because of the complexity of the accident, as well as the time and equipment required to separate two vehicles that were "severely entangled and on top of one another," Central City charged the cars' owners a combined $6,637.

Under the police department fee schedule approved by the Board of Supervisors, the maximum amount the company was allowed to charge was $1,300.

Central City claimed it received no complaints from either of the vehicle owners, who consented to the charges at the scene of the accident, or their insurance companies.

According to Central City's attorney, the police department was alerted to the situation by an unnamed competitor.

Following an investigation, it was determined the company had charged more than the maximum allowable fees and its police towing contract was terminated.


Ga. Company Helped, [b]Fed Victims

An Albany, Ga., towing service went above and beyond to help victims of recent storms. Harris 1 Trucking & Wrecker Service offered free towing to vehicles stuck in yards after the recent storm damage in Albany.

Dontavious Harris says he was happy to see that some people have taken advantage of this service, and he is very happy to give back to the community.

"I (saw) a lot of tree trunks stuck in people's driveways. A lot of multiple vehicles stuck in people's yards, and (we were) trying to make sure people have access to their vehicles so they can, you know, try to get back to their normal routine," said Harris.

He says his company also fed the community and provided hot soup to neighborhoods without power on Jan. 7.

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