Lauderhill Professor’s Family Files Suit Against Towing Company Regarding Death
The death of a Keiser University professor, Elias Konwufine, which we have been following for several days now has some interesting new developments which shed some light on exactly what happened the day that Konwufine was killed by being run over by his own Mercedes-Benz, while it was being towed away from outside of his home.
Now, Konwufine’s family has filed a lawsuit against Superior Lock & Roadside Assistance LLC, which was doing business as Capitol Towing. The lawsuit also names a generic tow truck driver ‘John Doe’ who previously identified himself to media as ‘Ken’. According to the lawsuit, the tow truck operator refused Konwufine’s requests to stop the tow and revved his engine indicating his intention to leave. The lawsuit then states that Konwufine grabbed hold of the truck because he was trying to prevent himself being run over as it swerved into him. He was dragged for almost a quarter mile until he could no longer hold and released his grip and was subsequently run over by his own vehicle, dying later of his injuries in the hospital.
Police will now have to investigate what towing laws were broken and whether the incident was an act of illegal towing based on whether there was any criminal negligence or malfeasance involved. Konwufine’s vehicle was towed legally from outside his home, because it was blocking a sidewalk. The homeowner’s association called the tow company to request the vehicle be removed. Though the tow itself initially seemed to comply with towing regulations, the actions of the tow truck driver as he reacted to Konwufine’s pleas could open him up to other charges.
It is against towing regulations in Florida, for a tow truck operator to refuse to cease towing and return the vehicle to its owner who is requesting them to stop, after they pay a “reasonable service fee”. It doesn’t appear that the tow truck driver offered this opportunity to Konwufine, which could open the company up to charges. Based on the reported circumstances, and depending on the results of the police investigation, additional criminal charges could potentially be levied against ‘Ken’, including criminal negligence or manslaughter. It appears quite obvious that at least some towing laws were broken, if not other laws based on the danger that Konwufine was put in by the apparent failure of the tow truck driver, ‘Ken’, to stop the tow in progress.
Further incriminating the towing company is the fact that its reputation in the community was less than sterling. There had been multiple complaints lodged against the towing company (it had an ‘F’ with the Better Business Bureau, based on number and lack of response to complaints). Additionally, witnesses said that the truck had a notice on the side which read “Entering this truck could be hazardous to your health. We carry a stun gun, taser, and cattle prod.”
Police are investigating the possible illegal towing and the other particulars around the incident, but acknowledged that they were behind the 8-ball since the initial call they got was not an emergency one and the scene was not investigated as thoroughly as it should have been. They have since sent a ‘spoilation of evidence’ letter, advising the company not to modify or repair the tow truck in any way, lest they destroy evidence and obstruct the police investigation.