INSURED PROFESSIONAL CLAIM INVESTIGATIONS, INC.
P.O. Box 114
Comstock Park, Ml 49321
(616) 784-4742 Fax (616) 784-5960
Richard Radke, Attorney at Law
Kluczynski, Girtz & Vogelzang
38 West Fulton
Grand Rapids, MI 49503
RE: Insured: The Flying J Truck Plaza
Claimant: Michael Hankins
Your File No.: 132151
Date of Loss: 12-9-97
Our File No.: C-8933
Dear Mr. Radke:
Please allow this report to respond to your request that we locate Mr. Tommy Waldner He was a
witness to the assault of Michael Hankins on 12-9-97 at the Flying J Truck Plaza. You indicated
that Mr. Hankins was assaulted by four men who were believed to be employees of the Flying J
On 2-9-98,1 initiated this investigation by contacting the Kenneshaw Trucking Company at 800-626-6179. They provided me with two telephone numbers for Tommy Waldner of (770) 574- XXXX and telephone number 817-444-XXXX.
I contacted telephone number (770) 574-XXXX and spoke with Dana Dean's daughter. She advised that Tommy Waldner is her mother’s boyfriend and that they drive truck for Kenneshaw Trucking Company. She advised that they do cross country team driving. She advised that they only return home approximately once or twice per month. She was aware of the assault that Mr. Waldner had witnessed. She also indicated that her mother was also a witness to the assault. I left a request with her to have then contact me.
On 2-20-98, I was contacted by Mr. Waldner via telephone. He provided his address as XXXX Highway 78, West Talla Poosa, Georgia 30176, telephone number (770) 574-XXXX.
He advised that he was outside of the Flying J Truck Plaza when he witnessed the accident.
He indicated the truck stop is located in Recasa, Georgia off of Exit 135 of 1-75.
He advised that he gave a statement to the police and his girlfriend, Dana Dean, was also a witness.
He advised that he was parked next to Michael Hankins' truck and was in the process of walking back to his truck when he noted Michael Hankins walking back toward his truck. He thought that Mr. Hankins was arguing with three Flying J Truck Plaza employees.
He indicated he was able to identify them as employees because of the uniforms they were wearing. He believes one was a shift manager and another individual worked on the fuel island.
He advised that all of the time they were arguing, Mr. Hankins kept heading toward his truck.
He advised when Mr. Hankins got between his truck and Tommy Waldner’s truck, all three men jumped on Mr. Hankins and knocked him on the ground. One man was sitting on his knees punching him. All during the course of the altercation, Mr. Hankins was trying to get back to his truck to get away from his assailants. He thought that Mr. Hankins was punched approximately fifteen or twenty times while he was on the ground.
He advised that he was all skinned up and his eye was cut and his lip was bruised. He believes the manager had called the police about having the vechicles towed. The police drove up while the truck stop employees were still in the process of hitting Mr. Hankins. It is his opinion that the police or sheriffs deputy arrested the manager and the two other truck stop employees who assaulted Mr. Hankins.
He advised that they then called 911 and an ambulance came and provided treatment to Mr. Hankins.
He thought Mr. Hankins was transported to the hospital.
He advised that it was apparent that Mr. Hankins had been injured.
Mr. Waldner advised that there were two other witnesses other than he and his girlfriend, but he was unsure of their names. He thought the fight occurred around 9:30 PM, but he was unsure of the exact time.
He indicated that at no time during the course of the confrontation between the truck stop employees and Mr. Hankins did Mr. Hankins make any attempt to start a confrontation During the whole time he witnessed the incident, Mr. Hankins kept saying he wanted to get back to his truck and leave the area.
Mr. Waldner did not see either Mr. Hankins or the employees inside of the truck stop. He indicated that the truck stop has a reputation of being very rude to customers.
He advised that he could identify the manager of the truck stop as one of the assailants and could also identify the employee who was in charge of the fuel island who also was one of the assailants.
I was unable to take a recorded statement over the phone at that time because the telephone reception was extremely poor.
On 3-7-98, I again made contact with Mr. Waldner and secured his recorded statement. I also secured the recorded statement of the other witness, Dana Danell Dean, date of birth 3-7-XX, address XXXX Highway 78, West Tallatoosa, Georgia 30176. telephone number (770) 574-XXXX. She also advised that she is employed by Kennesaw Transportation, Highway 411 Northeast, Rydell, Georgia, telephone number 1-800- 626-6179. She advised that she is her boyfriend, Tommy Waldner’s driving partner.
Ms. Dean advised that she came out of the truck stop before her boyfriend, Tommy Waldner, She indicated that she heard hollering over by the fuel island and she noted three or four employees around a patron.
She advised that she proceeded back to the truck.
She advised that she heard the patron saying that he wanted to get back to his truck. He had his hands in the air advising that he wanted no problems.
She entered the compartment of her semi-truck. She felt a bump against the truck. In looking Through the outside mirror, she saw the victim, Mike Hankins, and two men on the ground. She advised that it was very dark between the two trailers and she could not actually see any punches being thrown.
She advised that shortly after the assault started she noted a police car pulling into the parking lot area. At that point she jumped out of the truck and yelled at the Flying J employees to get off of Mr. Hankins.
She indicated that she advised that Mr. Hankins appeared to have been seriously injured. She indicated that an ambulance was called. She also thought that the police placed the Flying J employees under arrest.
She was also able to identify the assailants as Flying J employees because of the uniforms they were wearing.
She advised that she gave a statement to the police. She indicated that she saw nothing to indicate that Mr. Hankins had done anything to provoke the truck stop employees.
IN SUMMARY both Dana Dean and Tommy Waldner make excellent witnesses. They advised that they would be glad to cooperate in this investigation and feel that the assault against Mr. Hankins was totally unwarranted.
Both Tommy Waidner and Dana Dean can be contacted through Ms. Dean’s daughter at (770) 574-XXXX.
Thank you very much for allowing me to assist you in this matter. I am retiring my assignment at this time, but would be happy to assist you further if requested. Please find enclosed our service invoice for your consideration.
Very Truly Yours,
PROFESSIONAL CLAIM INVESTIGATIONS
Carter H. Simonson
Recorded Statement Tape