HANOVER COUNTY, Va. (WTVR) – Family and friends are grieving the loss of a loved one killed while working by a drunk driver.
Jason Bailey, 22, was hit along 1-295 in Hanover county Thursday night while removing a vehicle with his tow truck on the side of the highway.
“He’s my best friend. I can’t call him and say, ‘Man,’ I need you to come get me. I need you to come get the kids. Let’s go fishing,'” said Deavon Patterson, Bailey’s sister.
Bailey was known to his family as a kind and fun loving person and a hard worker who always looked out for his family.
“He was very strong willed. If there was something that needed to get done, he got it done. No matter what the cost was. He got it done, and took care of his family. Not just me and him. His whole family. If they needed him he was there,” said Shelby Hall, who is the mother of Bailey’s child.
Bailey’s girlfriend said she worried about his safety every time he got the call to go out on the road.
“We all told him that. I think we were afraid of the call that we got,” said Hall.
Now, the family wants to see changes for all tow truck drivers, so others don’t face the same fate.
“I just don’t want this to happen again. The drinking and driving needs to stop. And it’s gotten out of control. We’ve lost too many people to drunk drivers,” said Patterson.
A Mechanicsville man has been charged with DUI, refusal to submit to breath/blood sample, involuntary manslaughter, felony hit-and-run and obstruction of justice after the deadly crash.
Dwayne Gray Miller Jr., 31, ran into the woods and was apprehended in nearby neighborhood following the crash, according to Virginia State Police. Miller is being held in Pamunkey Regional Jail.
He is accused of driving his 2012 Ford Explorer off Interstate 295 and into Jason Baileym who died as a result of the crash, police said.
Bailey’s boss at imbrokedown.com called the 22-year-old driver an incredible person who served as a role model for other drivers. He said Bailey also stressed safety while on the road and worked hard to help support his son and girlfriend.
“People don’t realize how devastating this is. This one year old kid doesn’t have a dad anymore. We don’t have our best employee,” Paul Fletcher, who owns ImBrokeDown.com.
Thursday’s crash happened about 8:25 p.m. near the Mechanicsville Turnpike (Route 360) exit.
“A passenger vehicle had broken down and stopped on the right shoulder of I-295,” Virginia State Police spokeswoman Corinne Geller wrote in an email. “The passenger vehicle was on the rollback, the family had just left the scene, and Bailey was standing on the traffic-side of the wrecker near its exterior control panel when a southbound 2012 Ford Explorer ran off the right side of the interstate.”
There’s few moments you have to be on that side of the truck. And then, something happens like this,” Fletcher said.
After the SUV hit Bailey, it crashed in a ditch 50-feet away, police said. Miller got out of the SUV and ran, according to police.
“Residents of the subdivision provided a description of a man seen running through the neighborhood,” Geller said. “Based on the witness statements, the two troopers located the subject and took him into custody without incident.”
The Virginia State Police Richmond Crash Reconstruction Team investigation is on-going.
Court records indicate that Dwayne Miller, Junior admitted to police he was drinking a lot. But then changed his story. Court records also indicate that Friday is his birthday.
Miller is behind bars with no bond. He goes back to court on May 16th at 8:30am.