Trucking company charged $41k for a tow after one of their trucks overturned in Chicago late last week.
The accident happened on January 18th near the intersection of 79th Street and Kedzie Avenue in Chicago, Illinois. Both an ambulance and a tow truck arrived, but only one of them turned out to be dishonest.
“They said, ‘We don’t give a price. We don’t know how much it will be, you need to contact our dispatch,’” said Steven Yonan, the truck driver in the accident, to WGN 9.
Yonana then called his boss, who spoke to Emergency Towing & Recovery, and even then they started to realize something was off.
“From what I understand they don’t even have tow trucks,” said Junior Smith of Cartage Experts, the company that employs Yonan. “They’re just guys who run around with police scanners, get on the scene, lock you down, then they start calling in people, like Official Towing was one of the trucks that showed up.”
Smith says this isn’t the first time he’s run into a similar type of tow, but it’s the first time he was given a $41,000 invoice, and the first time a towing company forged his signature on the paperwork, like Emergency Towing & Recovery has.
In addition to the astronomical charges, Yonana says the towing company siphoned his fuel once they towed his rig, and now they won’t answer the phone. He says the number even seems to have been disconnected.
“I have pictures for before and after,” Yousif said. “They sucked all the fuel from the truck.”
The Illinois Commerce Commission has already fined Official Towing four times since 2021, including charges such as operating without carrier registration. Emergency Towing, who sent the massive bill, registered as a business with the state as a business only two weeks ago. Smith has since filed his own complaint with the ICC in hopes of getting his truck back soon.
“Time is of the essence, that’s our biggest fear,” Smith said. “Is that when we do resolve this they’re going to come back and say, ‘You owe us another $10,000 in storage fees.’ We just don’t know how it’s going to play out.”