The owner of a Detroit trucking firm, D. R. Logistics, is accusing a towing company of taking advantage of a tragic chain reaction crash on I-75 on Jan. 31 that claimed three lives after she received a bill for $10,250 from the company that tows for the Michigan State Police.
A sudden white-out caused a horrible chain reaction crash leaving three people dead and a tangled mess that closed the I-75 for hours. Among the trucks involved was one belonging a trucking company owned by Jaime Redmond and her husband, according to a 7 Action News report.
“Our truck was able to come to a stop before he hit anyone and then everyone behind him just kind of slid into him essentially. So we were at the front of the pack,” Redmond said. She immediately sent her regular towing company, Byers Towing, to retrieve her truck.
However, when the Byers truck arrived, it was blocked from the scene by trucks from Boulevard and Trumbull, the towing company used by the state police. A state trooper told the Byers driver that Boulevard and Trumbull would be towing everything and that he would have to leave. Redmond’s truck, fully loaded with freight, was towed to Boulevard and Trumbull’s lot and held overnight.
The next morning, she sent Byers to retrieve her semi. It was loaded with freight that had to be delivered.
“We had no choice but to use Boulevard. And then we had no choice to get our truck out. And then we get this bill,” said Redmond.
Byers towing said they would have charged Redmond about $3,500, a third of what she actually paid.
Boulevard and Trumbull has a contract with the Michigan State Police giving them exclusive towing rights on most of the freeways in the City of Detroit. According the state police, if you get into an accident on a city freeway, you can only use your own towing company if your vehicle is not blocking traffic. If traffic is blocked, you have to use Boulevard and Trumbull and you pay what they charge.
Redmond suspects there are other unhappy customers from the Jan. 31 accident.
“There’s no way that we could have been the only company that this happened to. There were several other semi trucks that were involved. And how much money did this guy make off of it?”
The 7 Action News Investigators are seeking other semi owners involved in the crash to determine if they, too, feel they were overcharged for towing. The news station filed a Freedom of Information request asking Michigan State Police for names of other victims in this crash to see if any others had issues with their towing bills. Their request was denied.
If you were involved in the crash and towed, contact 7 Action News at http://www.wxyz.com/.