GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — The plow driver who allegedly took money from customers but didn’t plow their driveway spoke to 24 Hour News 8 from jail Saturday afternoon.
Katie Lance, along with friends and co-workers, raised hundreds of dollars for Sandy Cone who was diagnosed with brain cancer in November. They used $318 of the money they raised to hire Bill Secrest to plow Sandy’s driveway so she could make it to all her doctor’s appointments. They say he never showed.
“When we came there to initially plow, we couldn’t plow the driveway because there were cars all the way out past the driveway,” Bill Secrest said.
Secrest spoke to 24 Hour News 8 from the Kent County jail, where he is locked up for six months on drug charges unrelated to to the plowing.
Lance said Secrest called her to tell her about the cars and she had them moved, but claims Secrest still never came.
“About a week later is when I broke my plow,” Secrest continued. “I had a too heavy-duty of a plow on my F-150 and when I hit a curb, the plow mount folded the end of my truck.”
That was the story Secrest told 24 Hour News 8, Lance said he never called to tell her any of that.
“I didn’t know much about plow service. I was just going based on instinct; put a plow on my truck. I could put a plow on my truck and make some money,” Secrest said.
After 24 Hour News 8’s story aired in January exposing Secrest, several more victims contacted the station with similar stories.
“I’m very sorry. This is not the way I operate my business. When I get out, I will make everything right with everybody, even if I have to plow next year at a 75 percent discounted price or if I just reimburse everybody their money back. Either way, I’m very sorry. It was not intentional,” Secrest said.
Lance and friends were forced to raise hundreds of more dollars and hire a new plow service to take care of their friend’s driveway.
“There was nothing I could do. I went and salted her steps and I shoveled what I could by hand, but between all the contracts I had, eight or nine contracts, there was no way I was going to be able to keep up by going around and shoveling by hand,” Secrest said.
Secrest admitted he didn’t know much about the plowing business.
“I didn’t know enough about plowing before I got the plow. I didn’t know I needed a more heavy-duty truck in order to plow. I thought that my 2004 Ford F-150 would be plenty, but I was wrong,” he said. “It was a major failure. I regret it and I apologize to all my customers and I hope to pay them back when I get out of here.”