2 Towing Companies Face Violations From Wrecker Board

Friday, November 8, 2019 - by Gail Perry

Two wrecker companies were given harsher penalties than the Chattanooga Wrecker Board members thought were deserved, at a wrecker board hearing Thursday morning. The problem was that the mistakes were serious enough to not be dismissed but the minimum penalty in the city’s wrecker ordinance was felt to be more than was deserved. The least punishment allowed by the code is to remove a towing company from the city’s rotation list for 30 days and to move the company to the end of that list.

 

S&S Towing, 4402 7th St. faced two different violations during the same time period. This business is in both Tennessee and Florida. One driver had worked for Scott Summery at his Florida location for years and was trusted by the owners of S&S. The driver came to Chattanooga about three-four weeks prior to the incident. On Oct. 11, he was not on a wrecker call and was not working that day but he left the shop in one of the tow trucks. Because she knew the man, the dispatcher let him leave.

 

 Around 5 p.m. Chattanooga Police Officer John Collins received seven phone calls about a wrecker driving erratically going northbound on Highway 58 and then crossing the median almost hitting vehicles going against traffic. When it stopped, officers found the driver unresponsive and administered three Narcan kits until he was revived. Narcan is carried by first responders to reverse the effect of an opioid overdose. The police also found a female in the truck unhurt, and a baggie of meth. The driver was taken to jail and it was found he had been convicted of DUI earlier this year.

 

S&S Towing had neglected to do a background check within 10 days of hiring that driver, which is a requirement of the city’s code, it was stated. The paperwork just slipped through, said Mr. Summery. He said he had been in business for 20 years without a violation prior to this.

 

The second violation for this company occurred on Oct. 26 when it took a wrecker from S&S Towing 40 minutes to get to the site of a wreck instead of the 30 minutes that the ordinance allows. The business is at the other end of the district from the location of the wreck - about 15 miles. The tow truck driver could see the wreck on Cummings Highway when the Chattanooga dispatcher cancelled the tow, so the driver was told not to stop.

 

The two infractions of the wrecker code were put together and treated as one for the first offense. The penalty should have a financial impact, said board member Vince Butler, but not put him out of business. S&S Towing received the minimum penalty allowed, which takes the business off the rotation list for 30 days. Assistant City Attorney Keith Reisman told the board that the company can still do regular business, just no city rotation calls during that time. And, the owner has the right to appeal the decision.

 

Allied Wrecker was represented at the wrecker board hearing by a manager, Chris Perry. The company sent a truck to help at a wreck near 6191 Bonny Oaks Dr. on the night of Oct. 29. The Chattanooga Fire Department also responded to the same wreck and they spread oil-dry to absorb a liquid spill and requested for Allied to remove it. The driver told the fire department official that he was not allowed to pick it up and remove it from the street because it was a hazardous material.

 

 Robert Thompson with special operations for the Chattanooga Fire Department said that a tow truck is required to remove debris from a wreck which is defined as anything dropped from the vehicle which includes liquids. Mr. Perry with Allied said that towing companies are not allowed to charge enough to cover the cost of disposal of hazardous materials because of the rates set by the city. "We can’t be reimbursed for all that we’re doing," he told the board. Attorney Reisman said he would add that to his list of concerns. The motion to suspend Allied from the rotation list for 30 days passed, but the board restricted the penalty to only tows in the B-Class rotation list. This decision can also be appealed.


Fort Oglethorpe Arrest Report For Nov. 15-21

New $4 Million Incline Railway Cars Are In Production

Local 10-Year-Old Redefines The Lego Building Experience


Here is the Fort Oglethorpe arrest report Nov. 15-21: 11-15-19 Joseph Michael Currey, 37, of 208 Robert E Lee Street, Fort Oglethorpe arrested on a charge of possession of methamphetamine. ... (click for more)

The historic Lookout Mountain Incline Railway will be getting two brand spanking new cars, replacing ones installed in 1987. CARTA officials said the heavy cars are being built at Brookville, ... (click for more)

Local 10-year-old entrepreneur and self-proclaimed Lego fanatic, Zachary Ledford realized something was missing when building his brick sets. His solution, to create an immersive experience for ... (click for more)


Breaking News

Fort Oglethorpe Arrest Report For Nov. 15-21

Here is the Fort Oglethorpe arrest report Nov. 15-21: 11-15-19 Joseph Michael Currey, 37, of 208 Robert E Lee Street, Fort Oglethorpe arrested on a charge of possession of methamphetamine. Taylor Gene Welch, 28, of 545 Cherry Street, Dunlap, TN arrested on charges of driving while unlicensed and defective tag lights. Johneatha Ondera Brown, 38, of 202 Campbell Street, ... (click for more)

New $4 Million Incline Railway Cars Are In Production

The historic Lookout Mountain Incline Railway will be getting two brand spanking new cars, replacing ones installed in 1987. CARTA officials said the heavy cars are being built at Brookville, Pa. The price tag is around $4 million. CARTA received grants to pay for the cars that will be going up and down from the St. Elmo station to the Upper Station down the street from ... (click for more)

Opinion

Be A Bright Spot During A Dark Time This Thanksgiving

This year will mark the fact that I have had the opportunity to live through 56 Thanksgivings. I was born on a Sunday, Nov. 24, 1963, two days after the assassination of John F. Kennedy. Thanksgiving occurred on Nov. 28 that year, the same as this year. It was a time, not unlike today, filled with political uncertainty. My mother told me I was the only child born that evening. Nurses ... (click for more)

The Opioid Epidemic Should Be First Priority Of State Legislature In Upcoming Year

When considering the most pressing matter that is threatening the great state of Tennessee, I would be willing to bet that more apparent matters come to your mind such as the state of our education system, the statewide job market, or maybe even the depressing (but improving) state of the University of Tennessee’s football program. To myself, the opioid crisis, which was declared ... (click for more)

Sports

Chattanooga Red Wolves Name Jimmy Obleda As Head Coach

The Chattanooga Red Wolves Soccer Club announced Thursday it has hired a new Head Coach and Technical Director. Jimmy Obleda will lead the team in its second season of play in the United Soccer League’s League One. “The transition from an inaugural team to a championship team will be accelerated under Coach Obleda’s direction,” said Sean McDaniel, president and general manager ... (click for more)

Florida State Pulls Away To Beat UTC 89-53

-The Chattanooga Mocs could not overcome Florida State Wednesday night in the Donald L. Tucker Civic Center. The Mocs fell 89-53 after carrying momentum into halftime. The Mocs struggled early but found momentum late. Back-to-back baskets by David Jean-Baptiste cut the lead to 35-25. Devin Vassell scored on FSU’s final possession before A.J. Caldwell’s 3pt was off the mark ... (click for more)