HILLSBOROUGH COUNTY, Fla. -- The nature of his job put him in harm's way. And helping someone get out of it is how Danny Hand would spend his last moments.
According to the Florida Highway Patrol, Danny pulled off to the shoulder of I-275, South of Fowler Ave. near USF, to help a stranded driver. The Crockett's Towing and Recovery driver had all of his caution lights activated.
Then around 1:30 a.m., police say Leandro Perez, 30, was driving drunk, lost control of his car and crashed into him.
Leandro was arrested, Danny died from critical injuries.
"Like a best friend to me," said Shannon Cottrell.
Cottrell says she grew up with Danny. Today, she had to wake up to the news that another truck driver, her friend, died in a 100 percent preventable crash.
I love him for the person that he was.
Once again, fellow tow truck drivers are having to join together to mourn a colleague. Several spoke to us about their feelings following this latest tragedy.
"We tow truck operators are first responders, just like the police, the firemen, the paramedics. We're out here taking care of your family," said Ginger Darling.
Darling is a leader in the towing community. She planned the processional for Troy McGuire, killed by a suspected drunk driver on I-75 last month.
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"We're cheaper than that DUI ticket you're going to get. We're going to sit there and save you from the heartache you're going to give your family, but, more importantly, the heartache and absolutely the heartache you can't imagine to the family who you just killed -- their loved one.
One family came out to show support, hoping their loved one, Bryan Stoffel, makes it home safe every day.
"All we ever ask is for you to move over. Give us our room to work, so we can come home to our families. I would love to come home to my newborn every night," Stoffel said.
Danny leaves behind a girlfriend and a child of his own.
(© 2017 WTSP)