Tow truck driver falls to death while assisting dangling truck on I-95

BOCA RATON, FLA. (WSVN) - A tow truck driver fell to his death, Wednesday morning, as he attempted to assist a tractor trailer that had rolled over and was leaning off the ledge of Interstate 95 in Boca Raton.

The tractor trailer was seen leaning on top of the ledge of the southbound Interstate 95 overpass, near Congress Avenue, early Wednesday morning. Fire rescue crews and police arrived to the scene, just after 6 a.m.

According to the Florida Highway Patrol, the tractor trailer rolled over as it was getting ready to exit Interstate 95. When a tow truck driver arrived to reportedly assist in righting the truck, he fell from the overpass and died, officials said, just before 8 a.m.

“If the trailer’s secure, it’s not going to go over on 95,” said FHP Sgt. Mark Wysocky. “The majority of these things happen because drivers are possibly going too fast. I don’t know if that’s the case this time, but when exiting the highway, you need to reduce your speed.”

Officials said the driver of the tractor trailer was uninjured. He was later identified as Adrian Figueredo, a man in his 30s from Miami who works for JJR Transport and Logistics out of Lehigh Acres in Lee County.

The tow truck driver was later identified as Richard Randolph, who worked for Emerald Towing in Boca Raton for 22 years.

Judy and Richard Randolph

Richard’s wife, Judy described how she received the news. “I didn’t even see the news this morning,” she said. “I was out and when I got home, the Highway Patrol men were here to tell me, and they both knew him.”

According to his wife, Richard loved his job. “He was an awesome man, and he was the best at what he did,” she said. “He was hooking up a big rig, and they had the whole team there, and I think there’s just a narrow space on the bridge, and I think he might have lost his balance. Those chains are heavy. Most men can’t even pick them up with two hands, and these men have to operate with one hand.”

Judy and Richard were married for 35 years, and their daughter recently got married, much to Richard’s excitement.

“That’s him, he just walked my daughter down the aisle about four months ago,” Judy said while showing a photo of her and Richard at her daughter’s wedding.

Judy now said she doesn’t know what she will do without her husband. “When everybody leaves today, and I don’t hear from anybody else, I’m gonna know that he’s not coming home,” she said. “All I know is I love him, and I’m gonna miss him so much everyday.”

“He was a good grandpa to all our grandkids, and a very special husband to me,” she said. “Very helpful and loving.”

Judy said she and Richard had so many plans with Richard set to retire in November. She also said Richard had a helmet on, but the distance of the fall was too much for his body to handle.

Witness Mike Godfrey told 7News this was not the first time he had seen a truck get stuck like this. “This isn’t the first time I’ve seen it here, either,” he said. “About six months ago, there was another truck hanging over the other side.”

Godfrey was referring to a similar incident that occurred last August, where a driver was left dangling in his tractor trailer over I-95 for hours before being rescued and brought to safety.

The Occupational Safety Hazard Administration is expected to aid in the ongoing death and traffic investigation.

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