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American Towman Magazine Presents the Week in TowingOctober 18 - October 24, 2017
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A Tribute to "Superman Shawn"

0 5d2cdBy George L. Nitti

On Feb. 17, 2016, Richard "Shawn" Eaton of Eaton Towing and Recovery in Williston, N.D., was responding to a call with a heavy-duty rotator when his right front tire hit a patch of mud that sucked one of the wheels off the asphalt, subsequently rolling the unit six times.

According to his sister Jessica, after "a hard fight," Shawn, 37, passed away that March.

At the 2016 American Towman ShowPlace-Las Vegas in May, the company purchased a 2016 Kenworth Twin Steer with a 60-ton Jerr-Dan rotator.

"It was the replacement to the one that Shawn was driving," said Richard Eaton, Shawn's father.

As a tribute to Shawn, the "Superman" logo was placed on the hood and wheel lift of the unit. Shawn had a lot in common with Superman. As a tower rescuing vehicles and as a volunteer on the QRU/Fire Department in Idaho, Shawn truly saved lives.

"When the oil was booming in North Dakota," said Richard, "Shawn was the first person from the family to go out there and establish our business. Growing up, he played sports and loved baseball and was very strong and athletic. He was a great waterskier; third in the region."

Shawn was well-loved by many.

"If you could have attended his funeral," Richard said, "we had to hold it in the auditorium because there were so many people who came out. He was very well-liked. He would do anything to help people. I had no idea how many people he had touched in his life."

A telling incident occurred when he was very young.

"When he was a little kid, between 3 and 5 years old, he had a Superman cape and he would watch Superman stop cars. One day when he was wearing his cape, he tried to stop a car, holding on to the rear bumper. That was Shawn."

A song that Shawn really loved was called Charlie Puth's "One Call Away," about someone coming to the rescue of his love. Lyrics include, "Superman has nothing on me," which is imprinted on the pylon that turns the rotator.

Above all else, Shawn was a family man, leaving behind a wife, three young kids and a very close family.

"He is now a guardian angel, looking over us," Richard said.

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