Light Up The Sky For Fallen Tow Operators (6/24/20)

Last night (6/23/20), we received the heartbreaking news that the towing industry lost yet another operator due to a motorist failing to slow down and move over in Woodside, CA. Mr. Mark Alarcon, a beloved and well-known operator from Atlas Tow out of San Francisco, was assisting a motorist on the side of the freeway when another motorist failed to heed the Move Over Law and struck the tow truck, which in turn struck Mr. Alarcon and took his life. This is the eighth tow operator that has been killed in the line of duty just this year.

It is our mission to promote safety and motorist awareness regarding the law. We celebrate “Move Over Day” each October with tow truck processions and events across the state, but we need to do more. We ask that tonight, wherever you are, that you help us LIGHT UP THE SKY for Mark, and for all the tow operators we’ve lost to these senseless tragedies. Please get in your truck and turn on your lights at 9:00 pm tonight. If you have “Slow down, move over” signage, please display it proudly.

We appreciate your dedication to the towing industry. It is our sincere hope that increased awareness will result in a decreased loss of life. Thank you for serving your communities, and stay safe.




-Quinn Piening, CTTA President

Using Zoom for CTTA Meetings

Getting Started


  • Download the Zoom application for your device of choice
  • Once downloaded, it is not required that you create an account, but we recommend doing so to assure that your settings are ready to go when you join a meeting.
  • Be sure to test your video and audio before joining a meeting. After you download and install, you can start a test call with just yourself to familiarize yourself with Zoom HERE.
  • If you are unable to join from your chosen device, you can join via telephone as a last measure. You will need the teleconferencing number provided in the invite. This information will be sent via email after registration.

Joining a Meeting 

All scheduled CTTA/TROC Meetings will be through a registration process:

  1. You will receive an email from CTTA or CTTA Staff inviting you to register for an upcoming meeting. The email will include a registration link and information on the meeting. You must click the registration link, enter your name, company, email, and position in Board/TROC. 
  2. After you submit your info through the registration link you will receive an email with the join link and password. 
  3. Provided that you’ve already set up the app on your computer or phone, all you’ll have to do when it comes time for the meeting is click the link you’ve received post registration and enter the password.

If you’re invited to an impromptu meeting that does not require registration (rare):

  1. Once you’ve installed the application, you can join a meeting by clicking the meeting link or going to and entering in the meeting ID & password. Learn more about joining a meeting. 
  2. On most devices, you can join computer/device audio by clicking Join Audio, Join with Computer Audio, or Audio to access the audio settings. Learn more about connecting your audio.


Can I Use Bluetooth Headset?

Yes, as long as the Bluetooth device is compatible with the computer or mobile device that you are using.

Do I have to have a webcam to join on Zoom?

While you are not required to have a webcam to join a Zoom Meeting or Webinar, you will not be able to transmit video of yourself. You will continue to be able to listen and speak during the meeting, share your screen, and view the webcam video of other participants. 

Accuracy When Sharing Tow Operator Deaths

As we enter a new decade, it’s worth remembering the keys to consuming journalism and social media in this new information age. Increasingly, misinformation is shared across the internet, which can lead to some unfortunate consequences. We’re not here to talk about politics, influencers, or deep-fakes, rather, we want to focus in on one thing: the reporting of tow operator deaths.

In the first 48 hours of 2020, our industry was hit with two losses of life. First, on New Year’s Eve, an operator was killed while working in Kentucky. After initial reports, the death was ruled accidental, as the truck he was hooking up allegedly rolled back on him. Absolutely tragic, but not an effect of failure to slow down/move over. Next, on New Year’s Day, an operator from O’Hare in Chicago was killed by a passing motorist while hooking up. Andrew Dove-Ferdere, 23, was standing outside his truck when he was hit by a sedan. This was the result of a motorist’s failure to slow down/move over. Finally, there were reports circulating in the afternoon of January 1st that an operator was killed in the line of duty in Truckee. After a few hours and many shares/likes/retweets later, it became clear that this was not the case and the death had nothing to do with the gentleman’s line of work.

Let us be clear: each of these deaths is absolutely tragic, senseless, and a massive loss for the respective communities. However, it is vital that we are accurate and specific when it comes to tow operator deaths. These three deaths were each very different: the first was an accident due to either equipment failure or operator error; this is not something we should be tagging with #SlowDown #MoveOver and *angry face*. If we do, it undercuts when a motorist actually fails to follow the law and ends someone’s life. The death in Chicago is a perfect example of when to shout about the Move Over Law from the rooftops. The other death in question from Truckee is an example of why we need to exercise patience, skepticism, and critical reading before sharing online.

It’s tempting to do a knee-jerk share when we see something online that stirs our emotions (we’ve all done it), but it’s important to read critically. Here are some tips on doing so:

  • Be Skeptical
    • Take any new information you see online or from a friend with a hint of doubt. You must expect the source to provide proof of their information and also show how they came to their conclusion. If you’re skeptical of something you read, seek out the same story from a different source to compare the information.
  • Be Patient
    • News stories often unfold over the course of hours, days, or even weeks. If details are fuzzy, it’s a good idea to wait for them to come more into focus before sharing.
  • Know the Information Landscape
    • Misinformation has been around since the dawn of civilized society, but the internet has really muddled the waters. Ask yourself whether the platform you’re reading the news on has any financial obligation to tell the truth, or whether their business model is predicated upon getting clicks. Those outlets will post just about anything to get you to click.
  • Investigate the Info
    • Being skeptical means investigating the things being told to you. It’s always good to check the date on the article. If the date is old, it’s probably not a good idea to share, as people will think this is new If there’s no date at all, that’s a big indication that you should proceed with caution.

These tow operator deaths are most certainly NOT how we wanted to start 2020, but we can be clear about what our industry wants and needs from lawmakers and the public: we just have to be CLEAR and ACCURATE when making those demands. Thank you all for your passion, time, and efforts- wishing you all a safe and prosperous New Year.