HOUSTON -- A family is outraged over how they say a tow truck driver treated a teenager after a call for a SAFEClear tow last month.
It happened on a Wednesday night in December: a breakdown in the HOV lane of the Southwest Freeway.
It s just not right dropping off a 16-year-old in the middle of nowhere, said C.J. Barner, a junior at Lamar High School.
Barner said he called for a SAFEClear tow and that a wrecker from Allied Collision & Auto Repair showed up, hooked onto his vehicle and was supposed to take him and his friend to Midwest Auto Storage. He also called his mother from the scene.
I spoke to the driver, said Juanita Jackson Barner. I asked and specifically said that I wanted a SAFEClear tow. Please take him to the storage facility and I will meet you there.
He just told me and my friend to get out, said C.J. Barner.
It wasn t Midwest Auto Storage, he said, but a Park & Ride 2.5 miles away.
I was really frustrated and upset about the whole situation, said Barner, adding that he didn t know where he was.
While he signed a tow ticket for $155 before the wrecker left with his vehicle, a SAFEClear tow to storage is supposed to cost just $50.
They asked me to pay $441, said Barner s mother.
Ultimately, Midwest Auto Storage only charged her $50, and said it s not responsible for the driver s actions.
In fairness to Allied Collision, they didn t wait until KHOU 11 News inquired to take action. They say the corrected the problem right away and chalked it up to miscommunication.
Juanita Jackson Barner s receipt states the vehicle was towed because it was abandoned. She says the only thing abandoned was her son.