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Tow truck driver hit and killed by semi-truck on I-5 in Milton

Washington State Patrol Trooper Robert Reyer said the driver of the semi-truck was arrested for DUI.

FIFE, Wash. — A tow truck driver was killed after he was struck by a semi-truck on Interstate 5 in Milton Tuesday morning, according to the Washington State Patrol (WSP).

The crash happened on northbound I-5 just south of Porter Way around 6:15 a.m. WSP Trooper Robert Reyer said the 65-year-old driver of the FedEx semi-truck was arrested for suspicion of DUI.

WSP identified the tow truck driver who was killed as 49-year-old Joe Masterson. According to the towing company, he was a father of four and had worked with the company for six years.

Two right lanes of northbound I-5 were closed for over four hours while police investigated. All northbound lanes reopened to traffic around 10:50 a.m., according to the Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT).

The WSDOT said drivers should “expect it to take a while for the backup to clear.”

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According to WSP, the victim was strapping down a box truck onto his tow truck on the shoulder of I-5 when he was struck and killed. The WSP said the semi-truck veered onto the shoulder, missed the tow truck and only struck the victim.

Reyer said vehicular homicide charges are expected to be filed against the 65-year-old man who was driving the semi-truck. 

FedEx released a statement extending their sympathies to the family and friends of the victim and said they were cooperating fully with the investigation.

“Today was, unfortunately, a tragic example of how important it is to move over when you approach emergency lights," said Reyer. "Or, if you can not move over, to at least slow down significantly to protect fire, police, ambulance or even tow truck drivers and [Department of Transportation] workers."

Fife Service & Towing provided this statement:

This morning we lost a valued member of our work family and a good human being this morning.  The State Patrol informed us that one of our drivers, Joe Masterson, attending to a disabled vehicle on I-5 was struck and killed by a semi-truck driven by an alleged drunken driver.   Joe had worked on our Fife Towing team for six years.  He was an outstanding employee with extensive experience and knowledge of towing procedures, equipment and all safety measures.  We will await the State Patrol's report before making any further comment.

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