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Fatal Tow Truck Driver Had History of Unsafe Driving, Lacked Permits

By now, you've doubtless heard the sad story of Olivia Gamboa. The 47 year old Metro bus driver was killed yesterday in a horrific crash that involved an out-of-control tow truck and a 7-11. You can read all of the details of the crash in our headlines round up. It kind of makes me ill to write about it.

Olivia Gamboa, RIP. Image via The Source

However, it wasn't until yesterday evening that NBC 4 broke the news that the tow truck driver, Yousef Adhami, has a history of unsafe driving and no longer has a valid driver's license. In fact, the tow truck company Adhami owns, Adhami’s Hermosa Beach Towing, does not have a permit to legally operate in California.

Let's count the number of warning flags in Mr. Adhami's record:

1. Adhami does not have a current driver's license.

2. Adhami's license was suspended four times between 2009 and today

3. Adhami’s Hermosa Beach Towing does not have a license to operate

As awful as yesterday's crash was, as we mourn we must also take a moment to realize that this crash was avoidable, and not just if Adhami had a shred of responsibility, but if we as a society took traffic safely seriously.

How is this man allowed to own tow trucks or a tow truck company? What gap in the system doesn't have this man's property "temporarily" confiscated when he owns a towing company and operates trucks without a license or permit. Adhami will doubtless face some jail time, the short arm of traffic law tends to come down on unsafe drivers unlucky enough to star in a media story, but the system already let down Gamboa...and likely continues to let down the rest of us.

How many have to die before serial traffic violators are treated as the criminals they are before they kill someone?

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