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Loved ones mourn Carlos "Campy" Santiago, tow truck driver killed while aiding a disabled car on Long Island Expressway

Tow truck driver dies after being struck by vehicle in Queens
Tow truck driver dies after being struck by vehicle in Queens 02:12

NEW YORK -- A beloved tow truck driver is being remembered after he was killed by an alleged drunk driver on the Long Island Expressway early Saturday.

CBS2's Alecia Reid spoke with family members who say he was doing what he loved and did one final good deed before passing away.

It was a somber evening as loved ones gathered to remember 47-year-old tow truck operator Carlos Santiago, affectionately known as "Campy."

"He's everything to me," said Destiny Feliciano, the victim's niece.

He was killed just after 3:30 a.m. on the westbound side of the expressway near 84th Street and Woodhaven Boulevard in Queens

"I woke up to this. I thought it was just a dream," said Carlos Santiago Jr., Campy's son.

Campy was hit while helping a stranded driver.

"Three thirty-one was the last time I spoke to him. He died three minutes after. I was the first one to see him," said Barry Yearwood, with Knights Collision and Auto Care Center.

Police say the alleged drunk driver, 28-year-old Denzel Porter, struck an SUV, which then hit Campy. Porter then hit the stranded driver's broken-down vehicle, which in turn struck the driver.

"The customer was laying on the wall. My friend was laying on the other side of the highway on the roadway," Yearwood said.

Campy is known to look out for others. He did that one last time before his tragic death, helping protect the man he was there to assist.

"We were told that my uncle pushed him out the way to avoid such a bad impact," Feliciano said.

The customer suffered minor injuries.

The loving father and family man dedicated over 30 years of his life to towing. He leaves behind his mother, father and three children.

Porter was taken into custody and is facing a number of charges, including attempted vehicular manslaughter.

"He's in a cell, but he's still out here breathing, you know? Alcohol is a serious thing," one friend of Campy's said.

After paying their respects on the highway, Campy's colleagues made their way to the Queens courthouse to rally for their fallen friend.

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