TAMPA (FOX 13) - Family members mourned the loss of their beloved grandfather, uncle, brother and husband after 65-year-old Eugene Fischer was killed by a suspected wrong-way driver early Friday morning.
Family said he had just watched his granddaughter play soccer Thursday night. Hours later, he was gone.
Fischer was killed after troopers say 47-year-old Larry Thompson drove the wrong way on the southbound Interstate 275 exit ramp near Ashley Drive, and slammed into Fischer's sport utility vehicle.
Fischer's granddaughter and niece tell FOX 13 he was an Air Force veteran and security manager. He had been married for 44 years.
"We did not expect this to happen. I mean, we love him so much," Makenzie Fischer said.
His family said they hope sharing the impact of Fischer's loss on them will reach others and force them to think about how to prevent this kind of deadly accident.
"There's been too many deaths and too many lives affected by this," said Melissa Logan, Fischer's niece.
Officers were still working to put together exactly when and how Thompson entered I-275 driving the wrong direction. Audio from 911 calls was being analyzed to construct a timeline of events.