HARRISON, N.Y. (CBSNewYork/AP) — New York State Police were asking for the public’s help Thursday in locating the car that struck and killed a tow truck operator in Westchester County.
As CBS2’s Tony Aiello reported, police said the hit-and-run crash happened in the northbound lanes of I-95 North near Playland Parkway in the Town of Harrison, near Exit 18B, just before 7 a.m. Thursday.
The tow truck had been called in to assist a disabled minivan. The minivan driver told police he could not see the tow truck operator, who was working on the side closest to moving traffic.
“And as he was walking to where the tow truck operator was, he heard a loud thud,” said New York State Police Investigator Joseph Becerra.
Becerra said the minivan driver saw tow truck operator Sal Brescia, 32, lying on the ground. The vehicle that struck and killed Brescia sped off north on I-95.
Brescia, of Yonkers, was pronounced dead at a hospital in Greenwich, Connecticut. He grew up in New Rochelle and was recently engaged.
“It’s a very sad occasion — not only because of the holidays and everything else,” said Mamaroneck Mayor Norm Rosenblum. “But it’s true that it’s an accident that becomes a crime, because you avoid the human decency of stopping.”
Rosenblum visited Vincent Service Station Inc. in Mamaroneck Thursday to pay his respects.
“Sal was not only an extremely talented and hard working young man, but an incredible and invaluable friend/brother. Our heavy hearts reach out to his family. In a time like this no words give much relief to the pain, but just know Sal’s second family here at Vincent Service will ALWAYS hold him close to our hearts and will ALWAYS be here to support those touched by the loss,” the statement said in part. “Nothing could be said here to appropriately describe how much he is loved. Thank you to everybody reaching out and showing support.”
Bobby Pantore of Safeway Towing said many drivers ignore the law, and tow truck operators routinely fear for their safety.
“It happens all the time,” Pantore said. “You try not to think about it when you hook up a car, but it does happen, and you have to keep that in the back of your mind sometimes.”
There is no surveillance video on the stretch of I-95 where the hit-and-run happened. State Police are urging witnesses to come forward.
Late Thursday, Crime Stoppers was offering a $2,500 reward for information that leads to an arrest.
Anyone with information is asked to contact the State Police in Tarrytown at (845) 727-2280 or Hawthorne Bureau of Criminal Investigation by calling (914) 769-2600.
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