By Jim "Buck" Sorrenti
Bill's Towing & Auto Service of St. Clairsville, Ohio, has been providing, road service, auto repairs, towing and recovery services to Belmont County, Ohio, and the Wheeling (W.V.) metro area since 1981.
Over the years, company founder and owner William "Bill" Coulson added employees, including sons Chad and Ty, and equipment. Both sons grew up in the family business and take pride in caring on the family towing and recovery tradition of professionalism.
On Jan. 9, 2015, Bill's received a call from the Cumberland Trail Fire Department to respond to a rescue mission. A woman was trapped under the front axle of a tractor.
"We were called at 8:55 am by the Cumberland Trail Fire Department to respond immediately with our rotator for a rescue. At 9:12 we arrived on scene," Chad said.
They responded with their 50-ton Jerr-Dan HDR 1000 rotator and their 25-ton Jerr-Dan HDL 500/280 integrated wrecker. They brought a crew of six including Bill, Chad, Ty, Jimmy Ore, Greg Reline and Ron Durrah.
"The roads were solid ice that morning," Chad said. "Four other cars had already wrecked into median strip when the woman, unaware of what was up ahead, came over hill in her black Ford Escape and slid into the median.
"She had gotten out of her vehicle and was standing in the road near the median when the semi came over the hill and couldn't stop in time. It slid and ran over her, leaving her trapped under the front axle of the tractor."
Their first course of action was to lift the cab to free the woman. Working with the fire rescue team, Bill's team rigged the front of the tractor.
"We rolled the hood of the truck and rigged an endless loop strap around the front axle. The CTFD had air bags positioned under the center of the front axle," Chad said. "Using my remote control, I was able to lift the driver side of the semi about two feet while the fire department picked with their air bags. The fire fighters rescue team was then able to pull her out. At 9:20, the patient was free and in the ambulance."
Bill's had a flatbed and a small wrecker on scene and also towed away the other wrecks that morning. All vehicles involved were brought back to Bill's yard.
The woman lost her right arm in the accident, is in critical condition and still in the hospital. Chad has been in touch with the woman's daughter, who said she would recover.
"We train with the fire department around here for situations like this and it has paid off from this call," Chad said. "They know what are able to do and we work well together."Show Yours @ TIWDo you have a recovery to share with TIW readers? Send some pics and info to our Field Editor Jim "Buck" Sorrenti at email@example.com; your story may even be selected for print in American Towman magazine!