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The dangers of negligently maintained trucks on California roads

We keep our cars in tiptop shape for a lot of reasons. To ensure we won't break down on your way to work. To maintain its value. Because we just like driving a great car.

But they all pale to the real reason why it's so important to keep our cars in great shape, with good tired tread and tiptop brakes: the safety of our families.

No matter how diligent we are with car care and how defensive our driving, we can't be sure that every other driver on the road will do the same. Consider the case of a San Francisco woman who was killed in June, seemingly at the hands of a negligent Southern California tow truck company.

In this instance, the victim was a public utility worker in San Francisco who was killed when a Buick rolled off the back of a tow truck. It wound up in a ditch where the woman was working and killed her. The woman was the mother of a toddler daughter.

An investigation by NBC Bay Area indicated that the tow truck company hauling the Buick should not have been in operation. According to California Highway Patrol (CHP) records, the motor carrier permit of the Irvine-based towing company was suspended on April 20.

In fact, the permit had been suspended after the company received 45 safety and workplace violations since 2012. In 2018, the towing company had been cited by the CHP for a number of violations, such as hiring drivers who didn't have a valid driver's license and putting trucks on the road without safety restraints.

In the Bay Area, the company has skirted the law, apparently, by operating under different names and not the name it is known by in Southern California. A driver at the company's base in Oakland told the TV station that he didn't know the company was operating on a suspended permit.

We'd like to think that owners of semitrailers, tow trucks, buses and cars – and type of motorized vehicle – would take the same safety precautions that we do. But they don't. In this case, a 2-year-old girl will grow up without her mother. A California attorney who has experience with personal injury and wrongful death cases could offer advice to the girl's guardians.

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