Leah Phillips, 27, and her fiancé, Mike Edgar, 29, had a costly run-in with a towing company.
Julie Oliver / Postmedia
After Leah Phillips skidded into a jackknifed truck on Woodroffe Avenue, her car took an unexpected — and very expensive — tow truck ride to Carp.Phillips and her fiancé, Mike Edgar, were on their way to work on the morning of Feb. 25. She was driving; she is an educational assistant for special needs students at a school in Barrhaven.Woodroffe near Slack Road became whiteout territory in the high wind. She slowed down a lot, but suddenly there was a truck and trailer sideways across the road ahead of her, and she couldn’t avoid it.“I attempted to stop and veer into the left lane (but) I couldn’t completely avoid the trailer,” she said. “We hit the trailer quite hard.”Airbags inflated. The seat belt cut the material of her coat. The couple left their car, afraid someone else would slam into it, and Phillips ended up sitting in a stranger’s car until an ambulance arrived.Phillips is pregnant, due in late May, so she ended up in an ambulance as a precaution. She remembers asking the police officer to have the car towed to a Speedy location on Carling Avenue that is run by a family friend. Then, after doctors examined her at the Civic Hospital, she found out the car had gone instead to an Ottawa Metro Towing location in Carp.And it will cost her about $1,000 in towing charges to get it back, plus $60 in storage fees for every day the car stays there.Another problem: She found out that her insurance on the Camry does not cover collision damage, which she calls “a miscommunication” between herself and the agent. She takes responsibility for that and says she will have to use savings intended for a down payment on a house to get a new car.But she says she should not be held responsible for the towing charge.Phillips says she called Metro and tried to get the company to relent on the $1,000 charge, but without success. The company has not answered this newspaper’s repeated requests to discuss the matter.Phillips said Metro told her there were charges for coming to an accident scene, for hooking the car to its truck, and for the mileage to Carp, plus daily storage.She called this “unheard of, especially as we had never even authorized them to take the vehicle to Carp.”She figures she is likely to pay up to avoid more daily storage fees, then take Metro to small claims court.Her longtime friend Crystalena Paquette has set up a GoFundMe campaign with a goal of $10,000 to help the couple.“It’s such a loss,” she said. “We’re very young at this point, but it was her life savings that got that car and she’s pregnant and due very soon … It’s such a financial hit for her.“Her plans are going to be completely derailed now and she is going to be suffering.”“We’re a young family expecting,” Phillips said.They had been house-hunting, hoping to make a down payment and buy a home, but the savings are now going to pay for the new car. No car, no work. “We’re biting the bullet on that one.”Phillips noted on Facebook that “This is unbearable and unfathomable. I never consented to towing my car to Carp, let alone (to) incurring those costs.”firstname.lastname@example.org/TomSpears1 ALSO IN THE NEWS:Egan: Shut up and sign: keep trains on time but public in the dark?Police seize loaded handgun and cocaine, arrest two in Ottawa South raidSnowmobile crashes through ice on Mississippi River at Pakenham, driver unhurtGen. Vance announces new appointments of colonels and RCN captains