January 18, 2022 |
In a story first reported on Bigfoot 99 in December, a Canadian trucking firm is still battling a Rawlins towing company and the state over a $78,000 recovery bill. Blue Line Distribution of Ontario received the invoice, number 13401 dated December 11, 2021, from Mapps Towing and Diesel. It includes a list of charges, including responding in inclement weather.
Photographs from the scene show the Volvo tractor and its trailer carrying several hundred cases of wine undamaged and in an up-right position after sliding a short distance off an open stretch of highway at mile marker 280 near Cooper Cove. Blue Line owner Tom Della Maestra said he settled the bill for $50,000, but he’s not happy. Della Maestra challenges the company’s claim that the truck was damaged and the load compromised.
In an official state complaint-form filed with the Wyoming Highway Patrol, Della Mastra called the charge “extortion.” He read what he wrote during a phone interview with Bigfoot 99.
A representative with towing company declined to comment on the story.
The invoice for the recovery operation states that the highway patrol referred the job to Mapps. Law enforcement agencies use a rotating call list to contact towing companies. Della Maestra said he was told by the Carbon County Sheriff’s Office that the company had been removed from sheriff’s towing list. It apparently was still listed with the WHP.
Because the WHP called Mapps to handle the recovery, Della Maestra is asking the highway patrol to refund $45,000 of the $50,000 he paid for the job. Blue Line has been unsuccessful in getting a refund from the state.
Della Maestra told Bigfoot 99 that he suspects the patrol received some kind of kickback from charge. Della Maestra said the charge and how it was handled at the state seemed “dirty.”
Rodney Miears oversees the WHP’s tow and recovery program. Miears never responded to our repeated calls in December. He reportedly told the Laramie Boomerang though that there is no truth to the allegation that WHP receives a kickback from towing companies.
The highway patrol responds to as many 5,000 calls a year that involve a truck that needs a recovery. The Wyoming Trucking Association reports that overcharging for tows is a common problem across the country.