MAMARONECK, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) — In a tender show of support from people who do a tough job, hundreds of tow truck operators paid tribute Tuesday, to a colleague who was killed by a hit-and-run driver.
As CBS2’s Tony Aiello reported, competition in the tow business can be fierce, but this was a day to come together.
More than a hundred tow trucks and recovery vehicles from across the region staged at Harbor Island Park in Mamaroneck to join a funeral procession for a driver killed on the job last week.
Sal Brescia was 32-years-old and engaged to be married on the 4th of July.
“His soon to be wife lost him, his family lost him,” driver Wes Praino said.
Praino posted a Facebook walk-around of the tremendous show of support.
“The tow family, it’s losing a family member,” he said.
Dozens of drivers who never met Brescia said they felt like they had lost a brother behind the wheel.
“It hits close to home when something like that happens, right around the corner, they’re close to us and it’s sad,” Bobby Pantore, Safeway Towing said.
Last Thursday, Brescia was loading a disabled minivan onto his truck near the playland parkway exit on I-95 North. He was struck and killed by a driver who didn’t stop.
State police said they’ve received little in the way of tips, they’re scouring businesses up and down the interstate for surveillance video that might show a car with damage.
The reward for information leading to an arrest and conviction now stands at $5,000.
As tow truck operators hope for an arrest, they also pushed for awareness when drivers see a truck with flashing lights on the side of the road.
“Just move over, it’s someone’s life on the line,” one driver said.
It’s the law in New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut.
On Tuesday, there were flowers in the beds of many of the trucks. On Wednesday, they’ll be back out on the road doing a dangerous job.
The Federal Highway Administration said each year about 80 first responders and tow truck drivers are struck and killed while responding to accidents.