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​In Memoriam – Walter “Pat” Herring 1947-2019

By Steve Pollock

February, 2020

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Pat Herring died on December 19, 2019 at the age of 72, doing what he loved most, driving one of his red Marmon trucks.

He is survived by his wife of 47 years, Patricia and sons Patrick and Eddie Herring, daughter-in-law Heather and grandchildren Daisey (Little Daisey), Dierks (Little Eddie) and dog Maverick.

Pat was a lifelong resident of Somerset and a graduate of Somerset High School, class of 1965. In 1978, at the age of 31, Pat became a second generation owner of the J.E. Herring Motor Company, which is recognized by American Towman Magazine as one of the oldest towing companies in America.

Pat was an active member of the Pennsylvania Towing Association and Towing and Recovery Association of America (TRAA). He was a legend in the towing industry and received many awards in his life, including the Medal of Honor by American Towman Magazine and the National Tow Safety Award. In 2001 he was among the Wreck Masters Top 10 list and in 2007 was inducted into the Towing and Recovery Hall of Fame, the only occasion he was known to have worn a suit and tie. Pat was also voted Wreck Master of the Year in 2009.

He also played a key role in helping with the passing of Pennsylvania’s, “Slow Down And Move Over Law” that helps protect police, first responders and tow trucks as they respond to highway emergencies.

For those that knew him, Pat had a heart of gold, always helping those in need. The Herring fleet is known for its signature “red” color. Pat once said, “If it isn’t red, it isn’t a part of the Herring fleet.” Pat’s sons Patrick and Eddie continue to operate J.E. Herring Motor Company.

A motorcade of 250 tow trucks and semi-trucks escorted Pat to his final resting place, with his casket carried by the lead truck. 

If there are snowstorms in heaven, you can be sure that Pat Herring will be the first to arrive to help those in need. Rest in peace, Pat.