TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) – The southbound lanes of I-275 south of Fowler Avenue are back open Sunday morning following a crash where the Florida Highway Patrol says a tow truck driver was hit and killed.
According to a FHP report Danny Ray Hand of New Port Richey, a driver for Crockett’s Towing and Recovery, was parked with all caution lights activated on the outside shoulder where he was standing as he assisted a disabled motorist. That’s when authorities say another driver, identified as 30-year-old Leandro Corrales Perez of Tampa, lost control of his car and struck Hand.
The 42-year-old man was pronounced dead at the scene.
Ginger Darling, who also operates a tow truck in the Bay area, is heartbroken.
“Once again, we’ve lost one of our brothers to another drunk driver,” she said Sunday afternoon and she and other drivers gathered to offer support and discuss the tragedy. “People aren’t being responsible. People aren’t being considerate of other people. I was brought up, you move over when you see somebody on the side of the road, no matter who they are. We tow truck drivers are first responders.”
Sunday morning’s fatal crash marks the third time this year a tow truck driver has been struck and killed on a Bay area roadway. Last month Troy McGuire was one of several drivers who responded to a crash on Interstate 75 near Big Bend Rd. A 44-year-old Manatee County man struck and killed the 48-year-old McGuire. Gregory P. Miller is facing a variety of charges including DUI Manslaughter.
In February Ashley Huffman was arrested on similar charges after hitting and killing Rogelio Perez-Borroto, a two truck driver who responded to a crash on the Howard Frankland Bridge. Huffman, 36, fled the scene but was arrested several hours later. She is currently being held at the Hillsborough County Jail on a bond of $750,000.
Perez-Borroto, 43, for Lou’s Total Car Care and Recovery in Tampa. On Sunday his former colleague Kerry Wardino addressed the most recent tragedy.
“I have a wife and kids, I want to go home in the morning,” he explained. “To think another one, another one of us. Another brother gone.”
Corrales-Perez is being held without bond at the Hillsborough County Jail. He is scheduled to make his first appearance before a judge early Monday morning.