July 22, 2010
So you get into a fender-bender or bust an axle on one of Philly's plentiful potholes: Don't wait for a mob of tough tow-truck drivers to swarm and start beating one another for your business. Instead, call for a tow from a driver who won't price-gouge or resort to arson and aggravated assault to trump the competition, commuter advocates say. Many motorists have roadside-assistance service offered by car dealers. Others belong to motor clubs like AAA that will quickly dispatch a tow driver.
August 18, 2012 |
Police have someone in custody in the theft of a marked police tow truck this morning. The truck was stolen about 10:15 a.m. from a police lot at Macalester Street and Whitaker Avenue in North Philadelphia, police said. It was recovered on the 4800 block of Bennington Street in Juniata Park less than a half-hour later and a male was taken into custody, police said. Other details are not yet available.
August 10, 1999 |
Yellow PennDOT construction trucks have created more than a few traffic jams on area roadways. Soon, however, green PennDOT trucks may be preventing jams - and helping stranded motorists in the process. The introduction of a fleet of PennDOT-logoed tow trucks onto the Schuylkill Expressway, I-95 and the Vine Expressway is being planned for near year's end, according to PennDOT assistant press secretary Gene Blaum. "They will provide towing and light roadway assistance - free of charge to the motorist.
April 5, 2000 |
A tow truck operator was crushed and killed yesterday while hitching up an abandoned car in North Philadelphia - casting a tragic pall over Day 2 of Mayor Street's ambitious program to haul 40,000 clunkers off city streets. Wayne Kennedy Smith, 40, suffered massive injuries to the head and was declared dead on arrival at Temple University Hospital at 1:37 p.m. yesterday. Mayor Street, who went to the hospital to express sympathy for Smith's family, said he does not plan to suspend the towing program as a result of the accident.
September 26, 2010
A tow truck driver was killed early Sunday in Philadelphia's Kensington section after he was struck by another tow truck operated by a driver with whom he had argued, police said. Ray Santiago, 30, a driver for Siani's Towing, was hit by a truck driven by Glen McDaniel, 25, in the parking lot of O'Reilly's Pub at Frankford and Lehigh Avenues at about 2:45 a.m., police said. The men had been arguing about a woman and towing territory, police said. Santiago, of the 6700 block of Gillespie Street, was taken to Temple University Hospital where he was pronounced dead at about 3:15 a.m. McDaniel, of the 2800 block of Aramingo Avenue, who worked for Straight Up Towing, was arrested near the scene and charged with murder, homicide by vehicle and related offenses, police said.
March 28, 2012 |
Although the slaying occurred in darkness, the surveillance video clearly captured a large tow truck repeatedly running over - then backing over - a man lying in a pub parking lot at Frankford and Lehigh Avenues. The victim, Ray Santiago, 30, of Gillespie Street near Unruh Avenue, worked as a tow-truck driver for Siani's Towing. He was pronounced dead at 3:15 a.m. Sept. 26, 2010. The alleged killer was a driver for a rival company, Straight Up Towing. The trial of Glen McDaniel, 27, of Aramingo Avenue near Somerset Street, charged with murder and related offenses, began Tuesday.
July 22, 2010 |
News of fender-benders in Philadelphia is no longer being dispatched over the airwaves. City officials hope the new policy will lead tow-truck drivers to ditch their police scanners, and stop harassing motorists. Instead, police are being alerted to car accidents through written electronic messages delivered directly to laptop computers in their cars. Additionally, radio dispatchers have been instructed to call for a tow truck, if warranted at an accident scene, at the same time they inform police officers of the accident.
October 19, 1988 |
Police yesterday added a narcotics charge to drunken-driving and assault counts filed against the driver of a police tow truck who was accused of ramming 17 parked vehicles Monday night on a single block in the Fairhill section of North Philadelphia. Elbert Lee Hatten Jr., 36, of the 900 block of West Huntingdon Street in North Philadelphia, a civilian employee of the Police Department since 1982, was suspended without pay for 10 days. Police said he would then receive a 30- day suspension and a letter informing him that he was to be dismissed from his $23,000-a-year job. The charge of narcotics possession resulted from the discovery of a plastic bag in his pocket that contained marijuana residue, police said.
September 28, 2010 |
The violent death of Ray Santiago on Sunday isn't the first example of violence erupting between members of the city's ruthless towing industry, but it may be the worst. Santiago, 30, who worked for Siani's Towing, was run over repeatedly by a truck allegedly driven by Glen McDaniel, 25, a driver with Straight Up Towing, about 2:45 a.m. Police theorized that the men got into an argument in the parking lot of O'Reilly's Pub in Kensington. Police said the argument had to do with a woman or an ongoing dispute between the men over towing territory, or possibly both.
October 22, 1993 |
Councilman James Kenney had heard the stories of tow trucks racing to accident scenes and fighting among themselves for the right to gouge victims with high towing, storage and repair fees. As chairman of the Licenses and Inspection Committee, Kenney held hearings where tearful victims recounted ripoffs. Some operators proposed a system to rotate towing jobs from an approved list. But when the bill finally passed Sept. 30, Kenney lost the heart of it - a rotation system that might have brought order to the industry.