Man questions Independence tow company after car contents stolen - WSFA.com Montgomery Alabama news.

Man questions Independence tow company after car contents stolen

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Travis Keller fell asleep at the wheel on his way home from work on Sept. 30, and totaled his car on Interstate 70 between 291 and 7 highways. Travis Keller fell asleep at the wheel on his way home from work on Sept. 30, and totaled his car on Interstate 70 between 291 and 7 highways.
INDEPENDENCE, MO (KCTV) -

A young man, who some say was lucky to survive a wreck last month, is now fighting to find a piece of his late brother.

Travis Keller fell asleep at the wheel on his way home from work on Sept. 30, and totaled his car on Interstate 70 between highways 291 and 7.

He had put most of his savings into the car, but it wasn't the loss of the car that upset him. It was something Keller and his family contend someone stole from the wreckage.

"The main thing I wanted was my brother's cross," Keller said.

That cross was precious because his brother died last July at the age of 26.

"He wore it every day, and he died with it on him," Keller said.

Keller said he kept the cross in his center console, and the console was in tact and closed when he reached in for his seizure medication just before the tow truck driver took off.

"I grabbed my medicine out of there, and that is all he let me grab," Keller said.

A week later, he went a tow lot to get it. He said the car was emptied of everything.

Keller's grandfather, Gordon Douglas, said the driver became hostile once he began remarking about the missing items.

"I said (to Travis), 'well your subwoofers and stereo (are) gone' and he (the driver) said, 'get off the lot,'" Douglas said.

The lot has signs outside the chained gate warning that the premises are under video surveillance.

Douglas said the tow company, Benfer's, would not provide any video to ease his worries.

"She said, 'all you're doing is coming down here accusing us of stealing your stuff,'" said Douglas of his interaction with the office manager. "I said, 'where did it go? You're responsible for the stuff once you say it is locked up.'"

Douglas said he returned several days later to get the company's insurance information so he could file a claim and was run off by the office manager.

"She said, 'I ain't got time to mess with you.' And then I said, 'I'll have to get a lawyer.' That's when she went ballistic," Douglas recounted.

The tow company's owner told KCTV5 he will hand over video and insurance information to police and Keller's car insurance company if and when they request it.  He would not provide that information to Keller or to KCTV5.

Keller did not file a claim with his car insurance company because he carried only liability on his insurance, according to Douglas.

The family did file a theft report with Independence police on Oct. 7. They just completed the paperwork to file a complaint with the attorney general's office.

Douglas said he wants the company to be held accountable.  Keller was more subdued.

"I just want my brother's cross back," Keller said. "It's really sentimental to me. It was the only thing I had that was part of him."

Benfer's is one of 10 companies contracted by the city of Independence for towing. Police said they regularly review those companies to see if they are following the rules.

Two reviewers using account handles other than full names had written negative reviews online about the company, but the Better Business Bureau gave Benfer's a grade of A minus and showed one complaint, regarding billing, and indicated that complaint had been resolved.

Copyright 2013 KCTV (Meredith Corp.)  All rights reserved.

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