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Book by Ronald J. Watkins: Birthright: Murder, Greed and Power in the U-Haul Family DynastyBirthright: Murder, Greed, and Power in the U-Haul Family Dynasty by Ronald J. Watkins

During this move, the engine in their U-Haul truck caught on fire and their entire cargo burned to a crisp.

Where was U-Haul during all this?
See this at YouTube.
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Victim's Son Joins U-HaulSafetyAlert.Org

Devin Letzer with DadOctober 15, 2008 - Devin Letzer, whose father was killed in 2003 in a crash involving a defective
U-Haul trailer, is the new spokesman for U-HaulSafetyAlert.Org, sponsors have announced.

"My goal is to help make the public aware of U-Haul's history of renting out defective vehicles and its callous disregard for the safety of its customers," Letzer said.

"Had it not been for company greed that sent us out on the road with an unsafe trailer, my father would be alive today. I don't want to see that happen to anyone else," he added.

U-Haulsafetyalert.org is dedicated to alerting the public to the dangers of renting U-Haul trucks, trailers and equipment. The site is seeking stories of U-Haul-related accidents and injuries.

Mark Letzer, Devin's father, was killed when the trailer they were pulling from Los Angeles to New Orleans started swaying violently and flipped the passenger car.   Mark was ejected and killed instantly. The ensuing lawsuit showed the brakes had no brake fluid and were missing brake pads, had not been inspected in nine months, and had been rented nine times in this condition. U-Haul settled the suit in 2006.

In recent years, U-Haul has been investigated by the Canadian government and several major U.S. media outlets for unsafe practices. These include keeping a high number of old, high-mileage vehicles on the road; poor maintenance; and ignoring weight standards considered critical to safe towing.

In 2005, the Canadian government found fully 10% of all U-Haul's vehicles in that country failed safety standards, double the rate of its nearest competitor.   In 2007, the Los Angeles Times published a three-part series documenting U-Haul-related deaths and serious injuries. The series also documented the company's track record of losing key evidence related to product liability lawsuits, and of hiring lobbyists to fight efforts to pass safety laws related to do-it-yourself moving companies.

Letzer currently lives in Boston where he works in fundraising. U-Haulsafetyalert.org is sponsored by victims, families and attorneys working to prevent U-Haul related deaths and injuries. This includes the law firms of Ted B. Lyon & Associates, P.C., Dallas, TX, and Bennett, Bigelow & Leedom, Seattle, WA.