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Tow truck drivers lead procession for fellow driver, father

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Posted at 1:26 PM, Mar 11, 2017
and last updated 2017-03-11 16:26:59-05

SAN DIEGO - More than 100 tow truck drivers led a procession down State Route 52 in honor of Fred Griffith, who was struck and killed on highway in February.

Griffith, a father of three who worked at San Diego's RoadOne Towing, was hit and killed by an alleged DUI driver on eastbound SR-52 on Feb. 23 as he was attending to a stranded motorist. 

The driver of the SUV that struck Griffith, 48-year-old Michael Gilbert Gray, fled the scene but was pulled over by an off-duty California Highway Patrol officer who witnessed the crash. He is being charged with first-degree murder, hit-and-run, and driving under the influence among other charges.

RELATED: Father of 3 hit, killed on SR-52

Saturday, fellow drivers from around southern California traveled up SR-52 E from RoadOne Towing, in Kearney Mesa, in honor of Griffith.

Griffith was described as a well-known driver and father, who was well-liked throughout his more than 20 years in the industry.

"The San Diego towing and recovery community is still reeling over the loss of our friend and colleague," a statement from organizers read. "Fred was known through Southern California as a safety instructor who taught tow truck safety to his fellow towers at San Diego's RoadOne Towing. His death underlines the dangers that tow operators face every day."

RELATED: Teen left to support family after father killed by DUI driver

The long line of tow trucks slowly drove with their headlights and four-way flashers blinking to bring attention to the risk first responders and operators face on roadways and bring attention to California's "Slow-down, Move-over" law.

 

"The other side of this unfortunate incident bears the message of, 'don't drink and drive,'" organizers said. "Tow truck operators and other first responders are there to help you, but only if you give us the safety and room to do so."