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Towing company damages car; owner stuck with repairs

5:23 PM, Sep 21, 2012   |    comments
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JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- Jonetta Pendergrass just started a new job, and just lost her means of transportation to work.

"I'm devastated," she said, "because me and my son has to take this loss."

According to police reports, Pendergrass hired Eddie's Towing to haul her broken down Impala. He loaded the vehicle on his truck and she and her son got into the cab; what happened next was beyond her imagination.

"I was like 'oh my gosh,'" she said.

They left the Hart Bridge and stopped at a traffic light. When the light turned green, it happened.

"He puts his foot on the gas and my car flies off of the tow truck," said Pendergrass.

Police estimated the damage to her 2002 Impala to be at least $2,500.

Pendergrass contacted Eddie Williams for his insurance information and he was reluctant.

"He was like 'there's no insurance on the truck,'" she said, "My mouth dropped."

His business is on the Westside. It is his residence. His other address on Norwood Avenue is a hair salon. Williams is a licensed cosmetologist. There is no Jacksonville business tax for Eddie's Towing. 

Reached by phone, he refused to discuss the case. 

Why is a towing service on the road without insurance? 

Pendergrass has PIP coverage and needs Eddie's Towing insurance information to repair her vehicle. 

"This is me and my son's only means of transportation. I just started working. It hurt me that he is running a business with no insurance," she said.

The Jacksonville Sheriff's Office said his company is not on its list of licensed towing services. She plans to file a complaint with the State Attorney and JSO, but she may have to sue Eddie's Towing in small claims court.

FIRST FOR YOU UPDATE, 9/21/12: Atkinson Towing, Bayview Collision and Bell's Automotive Service stepped up to help Pendergrass restore her car.

Darren Carr, manager/owner of Bell's, said he was moved by the story and pulled together some of his business associates to restore the vehicle.

When they called Pendergrass, she was moved to tears.

First Coast News

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