According to witness Kim Adams — who was sitting outside of the Caffé Artigiano in the 800 block of West Broadway when she saw the SUV being hoisted — a baby and a young girl, approximately six years old, were in the back of the vehicle when the door flung open.
"She was poised on a seat to jump down to the curve to escape from truck, " said Adams, noting the girl was in "extreme emotional distress, screaming and crying."
"By that time I could run up to her and and she was down on the curve I had my arm around her trying to comfort her," she said.
A spokesperson for Busters Towing called the incident a "minor glitch that was a surprise to everyone" and added the company's policy is not to tow vehicles with people or animals inside of them.
"The driver was as traumatized as anybody," said Vern Campbell, a consultant on standards and operations to Busters Towing.
Typically, Campbell says, tow truck drivers are expected to hook up clamps to the vehicle in question, step out of their own truck, check the vehicle they are towing, strap it down, and then proceed to tow it away.
Campbell says Busters has a disciplinary process for incidents when policy is not followed, but would not divulge details.
"We always take these problems whenever they occur, and we review them with everyone in that position, so everybody's got it right."
The City of Vancouver has a contract with Busters Towing to tow and impound vehicles from city streets and parks.