There is nothing I dislike more than a scam artist waiting in the bushes for someone to come along and have an accident. Maybe the only thing I hate worse is ambulance chasers and boiled okra. But what we have here is a fine case of putting people over a barrel when they are down and vulnerable.
They impounded his truck, his personal property is missing, and double dipped on the insurance check
Shawn Caldwell learned a very valuable lesson these past few weeks – never trust the first person running up to you when you’re down and never trust non-commercial GPS directions. Shawn was driving along on a freshly repaved section of Chicago roadway when his reefer trailer caught the overpass, ripping a sizable section of the roof off.
The overpass was not properly marked for the roadway height, so law enforcement did not cite him for the bridge strike. His insurance company also agreed to pay for a replacement trailer from Ryder. So you’d think he was lucky, despite the accident. Unfortunately, Caldwell had quite a scam pulled on him. Luckly, he filmed it.
Chicago scams are all over the place
According to a few TikTok videos he posted on his page, Caldwell was quickly approached after the accident by a tow company. The tow truck driver said he was called by Caldwell’s company and told to handle removing the truck. That was the first red flag according to Caldwell, since he was literally on the phone with his company and the person he was speaking with had no idea about it, but agreed to let the tow company deal with it.
The second red flag was that the tow company did not have a heavy wrecker to pull the truck free from the bridge. It called another company to remove the truck. You would think that the trucking company Caldwell worked for would know to call a certified heavy wrecker company first, not a company pulling up in a repo wrecker.
The third red flag occurred as they were leaving the accident scene, Caldwell was told to ride in a different vehicle than the tow truck with his rig on the hook. In all pf my years of experience, I have never ridden in a truck other than the one with mine being pulled by it.
Sure enough, Caldwell was separated from his truck and it just gets crazier from that point. The other tow company “lost” his truck, saying it was stolen. After some helpful intervention from law enforcement and Ryder System Inc., (contacted by the insurance company to provide a replacement trailer), Caldwell was able to recover his trailer.
Dirty, but legal, tricks to milk victims and insurance companies
The worst part of the story is the tactics used to milk more money out of the insurance policy and the trucking company. The tow company was closed when Ryder went to retrieve the truck, which added extra storage fees amounting to thousands of dollars to the bill. In addition, since that second towing company was called in, it sent a separate bill, seeking an additional $15,000 from the trucking company for services rendered.
I have an expectation that a lawsuit will be filed about this and hopefully a criminal investigation. But this is Chicago, a long-time home for racketeering and mobsters.