Tow truck driver struck and killed on I-275 in Tampa; driver charged with DUI

Posted at 8:05 AM, Nov 27, 2016
and last updated 2016-11-28 08:04:45-05

A tow truck driver was struck and killed while assisting a motorist on southbound Interstate 275 near Fowler Avenue early Sunday, authorities said.

The victim has been identified as 42-year-old Danny Ray Hand of New Port Richey. He was employee of Crockett's Towing and Recovery of 7809 U.S. 301 in Tampa. Hand suffered fatal injuries and died at the scene.

The accident occurred about 1:30 a.m. Sunday.

Hand had parked his tow truck with all caution lights activated on the west shoulder of I-275 to assist a disabled motorist, the Florida Highway Patrol said. He was standing on the shoulder of the road when a 2001 Toyota Camry, driven by 30-year-old Leandro Corrales Perez of Tampa, left the road and struck Hand. 

State troopers arrested Perez for Driving Under the Influence Manslaughter and took him to the Hillsborough County Jail on Orient Road to be booked

After a preliminary investigation, the interstate has reopened to traffic in both directions.

Bay area tow truck drivers plan to do a memorial ride for Hand. Ginger Darling said Hand is the third Tampa Bay area tow truck operator to be killed in the line of duty this year.

"How dare you people do this when you drink and drive, we are out here taking care of your family members," said Darling.