Pickering, Ontario — The endless rows of parking at the Pickering Flea Markets were lit up by the lights of Ontario’s towers on Wednesday morning as the industry gathered to honour Todd Burgess, who tragically passed in a roadside accident last week.
More than 150 towers and trucks gathered for Todd’s Last Ride, a memorial and procession to honour their fallen colleague and dedicated towing professional.
Todd Burgess was a 56-year-old tower and former taxi driver lovingly known around town as “the unofficial Mayor of Port Perry.” He was attending a call on the morning of Nov. 7 when a car struck him on Highway 12, near Port Perry, Ont. He died on the scene.
Though the gathering spawned from tragedy, towers were eager to converse with their peers and other guests—especially where the subject of roadside safety was involved.
“It’s just a shame that something like this has to happen to get people’s attention,” one tower told Collision Repair. “People need to move over when they see emergency lights.”
Police in the Greater Toronto Area are cautioning drivers, advising them to slow down and even prepare to stop when they see emergency towing lights.
“When you see flashing lights, just slow down, move over, give them space,” said OPP Sargeant Kerry Schmidt. “They are trying to clear the scenes and highways and make the roads safe for everybody else.”
A GoFundMe campaign has been set up in honour of Todd.
Look through the gallery below to see the impressive turnout for Todd’s Last Ride.