A 48-year-old tow truck driver, Troy McGuire, of Hillsborough County, Florida, who was loading vehicles onto his truck on I-75, was struck and killed by an alleged drunk driver, according to ABC Action News.
The Florida Highway Patrol stated that after police pulled over and arrested three drivers for racing on I-75, just south of Big Bend Road, at around 3:30 a.m. Sunday, October 9, McGuire and several other tow truck drivers were later called to the scene to remove the vehicles.
McGuire managed to load two of the vehicles onto the Sunpoint Towing tow truck, but as he was about to load the third vehicle, which was parked on the shoulder of I-75, he was suddenly struck by a 2017 Honda Ridgeline pickup truck, driven by 44-year-old Gregory Miller of Lakewood Ranch.
The tow truck driver’s injuries were so severe that he died at the scene.
This is Troy McGuire -a local tow truck driver killed this morning. FHP says a drunk driver failed to move over and crashed into McGruire pic.twitter.com/NaGJ71T5jG
— ABC Action News (@abcactionnews) October 9, 2016
It was alleged that the Honda driver failed to stop or yield while several tow truck drivers worked on the side of the road to remove three vehicles. Miller reportedly veered to the shoulder, striking the tow truck driver.
Hillsborough County police officials arrested Miller – who was not injured during the crash – for driving under the influence.
Afterward, the southbound lanes of I-75 were shut down while police conducted an investigation but the lanes were reopen several hours later.
The tow truck driver’s tragic death left relatives devastated who initially learned of the tragic accident via Facebook.
According to Tampa Bay, Sharon Alfaro, 51, – who is the victim’s aunt – said that she was at a “loss for words” when she learned that her nephew had been hit by a drunk driver while on the job.
Alfaro went on to say that the news was heartbreaking as she knew McGuire had been a tow truck driver for over 20 years and he absolutely loved his job. He was able to help people and “he loved people in general.”
Another relative, Christy Wright, 54, who hadn’t spoken to McGuire in quite some time, stated that she would “follow his life on Facebook” and said, “He was devoted to his large family, and he was always on call at work, ready to pick up someone who needed help.”
Wright said she will remember her favorite memories of McGuire, which includes his “smiles” and his “kindness.”
“It breaks my heart,” she added.
In a Facebook post, the victim’s cousin – Joseph Scott McGuire – wrote that “He was a good hard working man. I hate that criminals get so much attention in the news. Rarely do we see the innocent people who are victimized. I wish we heard more about good people before they are no longer with us.”
“Too often we hear about how good a person is and what all they did for their community after their passing. Media should try to mix in a little more good, I know, I know it doesn’t sell quite as well. Maybe it would if we gave it chance.”
Towing operator Troy McGuire, 48, down near Tampa, Florida, over the weekend. https://t.co/RofHqYI6tL
— Tow Times Magazine (@TowTimesMag) October 10, 2016
Tow truck driver, Blaine Cumpston, said in a Facebook post that he works in the area and “people need to move over. I’ve had to jump onto the back of my wrecker several times myself to keep from getting hit. This is why they should make tougher laws if you don’t move over.”
Several social media users were outraged, including Deborah A. Campbell, who wrote in a Facebook post that “this idiot [alleged drunk driver] should be charged with premeditated murder. He knowingly drank and proceeded to get into his vehicle and drive. He knew what could happen and it did happen.”
Miller is being held at the Hillsborough county jail without a bond.
The driver is facing charges of “DUI Manslaughter and DUI property damage.”
[Featured Image By Cliffsman/iStock]