Early morning, January 1st, I received a phone call from the Illinois State Police (to whom I have a towing contract) that my mother had been involved in an automobile accident (she is also employed by the State Police). It was around 5:50a.m. and she was on her way to work when a drunk driver ran a red light and t-boned a taxi cab, bounced off, and hit my mother. I immediately ran to my shop and jumped in the tow truck and headed over. All vehicles involved were totaled, and the passenger in the drunk driver vehicle was severely injured and had to have the “Jaws of life” remove her from the vehicle (she later died at the hospital). My mother was fine physically, aside from whiplash and a back ache from the massive impact. Upon arriving at the scene I noticed another towing company already there, Chicago Towing Association. Having been in this industry for over 20 years, I knew who they were and why they were there. Accident chasers. They scan police frequency and listen in for car accidents then fly to the scene, arriving usually quicker than all emergency personnel. It is also well known that they pay off police officers to notify them of accidents, and also to ‘contract’ the officers to chase away other accident chasers. I’ve been side tracked; after arriving at the scene, a man from the Chicago Towing Association truck approached me as I waited with my disoriented wife and asked me what I was doing there. I told him I was towing this vehicle. He responded with something you would hear a gang member say, “This is my hood, my territory, get the fu** out of here.”. I was astonished, though not entirely surprised. I notified him that this was my wife’s vehicle. He said he didn’t give a fu**. I kind of expected that response from a heartless scumbag. He then went on to tell me how I was “all alone in that truck”. Nice world we live in. But none of this bothered me, as I know what kind of person he is, and where he will be in the future. I went over to converse with the Chicago Police officers about the details of the accident, and even they questioned my being at the scene! They began harassing me, accusing me of accident chasing and lecturing me on the legalities of it! Said they could have my flatbed impounded. When I notified them that it was my wife’s vehicle, and that a master sergeant from the State Police was en route, their attitudes changed immediately. By this time, the Chicago Towing Association driver had come over near us, and began making the false accusation that I had called him a “(((REDACTED FOUL LANGUAGE)))”. He apparently felt that since his ‘gangbanger’ scare tactics didn’t work, he would cry racism to the police. If my definition is on par with what he was referring to, I certainly thought it, but never spoke it. The Chicago Police offers payed no attention to his rantings and continued their paper work. More accident chasers arrived on the scene, notably D&G and their hard to read dark blue on black lettering. After all was said and done, I hooked up my wife’s totaled vehicle and brought it back to my fenced in outdoor storage yard. My wife survived her injuries, unfortunately the passenger in the drunk driver’s did not. January 2nd: Came in to work and found my wife’s car, along with several other vehicles and one of my tow trucks, had been broken into and vandalized. Thankfully, I have insurance. Police found a 40oz. bottle of Miller Lite filled with urine on the hood of my wife’s vehicle. You stay classy Chicago Towing Association. These people, these accident chasers, they take a bad situation and they make it worse. You should always have the number to a trusted tow truck driver handy, in case you should be involved in an accident. And unless you are being arrested, you HAVE the right to call your own towing company.
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