Authorities identify tow truck driver killed in Highway 99 crash
The well-known driver was helping a person with a flat tire when he was struck by another car.
By Gene Haagenson
Tuesday, May 16, 2017 05:14PM
FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- A well-known tow truck driver was killed Monday night on Highway 99 while helping a stranded motorist.
The tow truck driver was identified as 58-year-old Baudelio Perez, also known as Angelo and the owner of Angelo's Towing.
He was towing a car that had a flat tire at the Highway 41/Highway 99 interchange when he was struck and killed.
The accident happened just before 10 p.m. when Perez was about to tow a Cadillac with a flat tire when another vehicle slammed into him.
"That vehicle struck the broken-down vehicle which was on the rear of the tow truck as well as the driver of the tow truck who was working to load that vehicle," Jeffrey Cipolla with the CHP explained.
Angelo was killed at the scene and the driver of the car that hit him stopped and cooperated with authorities.
The CHP says he did not appear to be impaired and said he did not see the tow truck. Owner of Action Towing John DeCicco was close friends with the victim and knows the dangers of the job.
"Tow truck operating on the freeways and roads is very hazardous," he said.
The accident occurred where southbound Highway 41 merges onto Highway 99. The shoulder is narrow with vehicles are moving fast.
This death comes as drivers are being urged to observe "Slow Down And Move Over" week, a time to be alert to those who work the highways.
"People need to slow down and give all the emergency workers on the highway - the highway patrol, police, fire, Caltrans, everybody, construction workers - they need to slow down and move over and let people do their job," DeCicco said.
Perez leaves behind a wife and three children.
"It's a tragic incident," Cipolla said. "We work with these tow truck drivers day-in and day-out, and we know just how dangerous it is to be on the side of the freeway, and they are out there risking their lives to help people as well. We absolutely can relate to the heartbreak of this gentleman and his family."