Industry to Honor Fallen Tow Operators

Industry to Honor Fallen Tow Operators

Press Release ( - CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. - May 29, 2019 - ​​Tow operators have a high fatality rate, and for that reason, the International Towing & Recovery Hall of Fame and Museum each year honors towing operators and employees who have died in the line of service during a special ceremony at its Wall of the Fallen memorial in Chattanooga.

Nominate a family member, friend or co-worker who has died in the line of service for a nameplate on the Wall of the Fallen memorial, located on the grounds of the towing museum. Send in nominations by July 31 to allow adequate processing time.

Unfortunately, dozens of nameplates are placed on the memorial each year, and it now contains the names of over 400 individuals whose lives were tragically struck down. The first Wall of the Fallen ceremony was held in 2006, with the aim of raising awareness of the dangers of workers in the towing and the recovery industry.

About 60 towing-related deaths occur each year in the United States, a significant number compared with workplace fatalities among other first responders, as well as other industries. In fact, the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) this year reported that “workers in the motor vehicle towing industry face an on-the-job fatality risk nearly 15 times greater than workers in all other private industries.”  NIOSH further stated that research into the towing industry has been overlooked, but its report underscores the need for more research and prevention efforts.

The Wall of the Fallen ceremony is an emotionally moving event for families and co-workers, providing public recognition of towing operators and employees whose lives were cut short. This year’s event is scheduled for Saturday, October 12, during Museum Weekend, which takes place at the same time as the Tennessee Tow Show.

To be eligible, the deceased must have been working as an operator or employee in any capacity at a towing, repossession or road service company. Qualifying circumstances include being struck and killed while:

  • loading/unloading a motor vehicle
  • transporting a motor vehicle
  • recovering a vehicle
  • driving en route to or from a towing call
  • performing work duties at a company office

Death at the hands of a customer, robber or passerby also qualifies. However, death as a result of gross negligence, driving under the influence, road rage and death from natural causes are excluded.

Visit and click “Wall of the Fallen” for more details such as documentation and other information required. Contact Jeffrey Godwin, co-chair of the Survivor Fund/Wall of the Fallen Committee, at


The International Towing and Recovery Hall of Fame and Museum in Chattanooga showcases the history of towing and recovery. The rotating collection includes early equipment by Manley, Holmes, Vulcan and Weaver. The Hall of Fame honors individuals who have significantly advanced the industry. The museum includes a theater, a library and a gift shop with towing-related souvenirs. The Wall of the Fallen memorial, on the museum grounds, is dedicated to towers who died in the line of service. ITRHFM is a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization and accepts donations for its programs and operations from individuals, corporations and groups.

Source : International Towing & Recovery Hall of Fame and Museum

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