TAMPA (FOX 13) - The Florida Highway Patrol has arrested a driver who hit and killed a tow truck driver early Sunday morning.
The incident happened around 1:30 a.m. on the southbound shoulder of I-275 near the Fowler Avenue exit.
According to investigators, 42-year-old Danny Hand, a tow truck operator for Crockett's Towing, was assisting a disabled motorist when he was struck by an oncoming Toyota Camry. Hand's tow truck had its lights activated and was parked on the shoulder.
FHP said the driver of the Camry, 30-year-old Leandro Corrales Perez, was found to be under the influence of alcohol and was subsequently arrested. He has been charged with DUI manslaughter.
We’ve lost another brother. We’ve lost another young man and a family is now being torn apart," said fellow tow truck driver Ginger Darling. "For what? Because you went and got drunk?"
The southbound lanes were closed for several hours while troopers investigated, but they have since reopened.
This isn't the first case of tow truck drivers being fatally struck on Tampa Bay area highways. In October, tow truck operator Troy McGuire was hit and killed on I-75 while helping another driver. The driver who hit him was also charged with DUI manslaughter. "People depend on us to be safe, we only ask for the same respect," said tow truck driver Danny Miller."
Authorities want to remind drivers about the Move Over law, which requires drivers to change lanes and move over when they see emergency vehicles, including tow trucks.