A tow truck driver died from his injuries after he was struck by a hit-and-run pickup truck driver in a crash that closed the eastbound lanes of the Schuylkill Expressway for hours.
Police say several vehicles were involved in a crash on Interstate 76 East at mile marker 338.6 in Lower Merion Township, between Exit 338 (Green Lane/Belmont Avenue) and Exit 340A (Lincoln Drive/Kelly Drive) shortly after 9 p.m. Sunday.
Tow truck driver Mike House arrived on the scene and was hooking a vehicle to a flatbed when he was struck by a Ford F-150 driven by Emmanuel Doxy, Pennsylvania State Police said.
House, who started working at K & S Towing & Recovery in Havertown about six months ago, was taken to the hospital where he later died from his injuries. The Blue Bell, Pennsylvania resident was 32 years old.
Witnesses gave a description of the striking truck that helped troopers track down Doxy at his home in Philadelphia, investigators said.
Near Doxy's home, troopers found an F-150 with significant damage consistent with the crash, police said.
Troopers detained the suspected hit-and-run driver without incident and questioned him. It was unclear what charges he could face.
House is the father of two children, including a baby.
"That's all that mattered to him," said Steve Wilson, a mechanic at K & S Towing. "He wanted the overnight shift so he could spend more time with them. How do you not applaud a guy like that?"
Those who knew him remembered him as a joy to work with who put an emphasis on safety.
"It sounds like a cliche but he was happy to come to work every day," said Steve Fusaro, the owner of K & S Towing. "Always came in, said hi to everybody and enjoyed what he did."
Fusaro told NBC10 he was at the scene of the crash Sunday night and was approached by a woman who was stuck in the traffic back up.
"She had a bottle of holy water," Fusaro said while fighting back tears. "She walked over. She gave it to me. She gave me a hug. Last night before I left the scene I threw it. I threw some on the truck and then gave it to his wife."
The towing company is working on setting up a trust fund for House's children through the Bryn Mawr Trust Company.