Man faces $1,000 towing bill while hospitalized


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Man faces $1,000 towing bill while hospitalized

By Dave Culbreth. CREATED Sep 30, 2013

by Dave Culbreth

Lehigh Acres, Fla. -

Tow troubles! An 82 year old Lehigh Acres man is stuck with a bill for more than a thousand dollars after he says his van was towed while he was in the hospital. And tonight he wants to know what can be done about getting his ride back without breaking the bank.

This is one of those that falls into the category of: "It could happen to anyone". Especially because this older man has nobody to help him except an acquaintance from church.

"I turned to come out and then I may have had a seizure or something." said Noel Powell of Lehigh Acres. "I don't know. I just went out."

Five weeks ago Powell, who's 82 years old, had a seizure coming out of a store heading back to his van. He was taken to the hospital where it's documented that he stayed over a month.  Powell says he was told his van would be okay in the parking lot when he was taken to the hospital. But since his hospital stay was long the van was towed six days later.

The owner of the towing company, J and W Towing in Lehigh told FOX4 he didn't hear from anyone so he ran the plates and sent a letter to Powell. But, Powell says he didn't get it because he lives alone and since he was in the hospital he couldn't get his mail. When asked if he has relatives, Powell said he has no family.

Meanwhile, the owner of the towing company says he hears stories like this everyday. He also says someone called on behalf of Powell on September 16 when the bill was $700 and that he offered to cut it down to $500 but then never heard back from anyone. Powell disputes that. "I was in the hospital. I couldn't do nothing. I couldn't talk to nobody."

Now the bill for towing and storage for his van is almost $1,100 and if it's not paid by October 10th the towing company will sell it. "I didn't even know I had to give up money until last Wednesday," Powell added.

From all appearances, it's obvious that Powell lives in what would be described as a modest home at best. He says he lives on a fixed income and that he can barely pay his bills. "If I had several hundred dollars to get this vehicle you wouldn't be sittin there"

Johnny Cooper knows Powell from church but says it's small and barely pays it's own bills.
"I've called all the churches, all the charities, nobody has money to solve a problem like he has," said Cooper.

The owner of the towing company says if FOX4 can verify that Powell was indeed in the hospital that long and that he doesn't have the means to pay, that he'll work with him. We'll let you know how that turns out.