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Tow truck war turns deadly

Monday, September 27th, 2010

The smoldering war between competing Philadelphia tow truck companies took a deadly turn over the weekend. Police accused a tow-truck driver of homicide after he allegedly ran over an operator from a different company.

The fatal altercation comes after a flurry of incidents between tow rivals, including a shooting and arson.

Towing company owner Lew Blum says there are a couple of companies that have inexperienced workers who don’t follow the rules. Blum says they’re giving all tow drivers a bad name.

“The whole towing industry is not the problem…Everybody has a few bad ones. But we don’t get rid of the whole…Police officers? There’s more good than bad. But do we clean out the whole police department? no. We just get rid of the bad ones. That’s what we need to do here.”

Blum says he’s trying to reach out to other towing company owners to form an association that can stand up to Philadelphia City Council, and even pay for its own lobbyist and newspaper ads. So far he’s had little luck.

Mayor Michael Nutter cautions people not to automatically assume the latest incident is in line with the string of recent altercations.

At least at the moment, until we have more information, I’d strongly discourage any linkage between this weekend’s incident and anything else that has happened. Details are not clear.

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