For the third time this year, another family of a bay area tow truck driver got the horrifying news that their loved one was involved in an accident.
Danny Hand died at the scene on I-275 near the Fowler Rd. exit, where he stopped to aid a driver in need of help.
Despite his caution lights flashing, FHP says a drunken Leandro Perez came barreling down the highway right into Danny who was working on the shoulder.
“He was a big ol’ teddy bear, would give you the shirt of his back, and he never went without a smile,” said Diane Hand Dean, Danny’s sister.
Dean says the Saturday night-Sunday morning shift was supposed to be Danny’s last day on the job as a two truck driver. He was leaving to commit to his full time job with Pasco County.
But Danny never made it to the end of his shift.
“Get over. That’s the law. Whether it’s the law or not, have respect for people,” she said.
That law in Florida is called the “Move Over Law.” It require drivers to move to the next lane if they see an emergency crew, tow truck, or utility truck.
If not, the law requires drivers to at least slow down 20 miles per hour under the speed limit.
Danny’s family says he worried about his safety and frequently pulled further off the road to give himself extra room to work.
It appears he was worried for good reason after two other tow truck drivers in the bay area died this year.
He’s now the third.
“He said it’s terrible. Nobody will ever get over for you. he said I get father over so I’m out of the way,” Dean said.
Monday morning, a judge granted Perez a 100-thousand dollar bond.
He didn’t come to the door to answer our questions, and now the victim’s family has some questions of their own.
“Don’t let him out! Why are you setting a bond for somebody!” Dean said.
A memorial is being planned for 11 a.m. at the Anclote Park in Pasco County.