UPDATE: Famly of tow truck driver killed on job pushes for changes

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.

Tow truck driver Jason Bailey, 22, of Henrico.

Tow truck driver Jason Bailey, 22, of Henrico.

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.

tow-truck-crash

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.

18 comments

  • Robert L. Wilhelm, retired tow truck driver

    Bet not first DUI,But will still be driving after two-bit lawyer is finished!!!!!

  • Zack Dransfield

    Me and jason bailey went to middle school together i met him through my sister he was such a nice guy i cant believe hes gone R.I.P Jason bailey youwill be missed man fly high bro

  • Axslle Towing

    This is the fear of all Tow Truck Driver– D.U.I– TEXING AND SPEEDING DRIVER’S i meet jason last summer an seen his worked he is a hard worker and one of a kind guy — r.i.p– jason

    • Corrie Jones Good

      Mr. Parker, what does Mr. Fletcher owning or not owning a business have to do with Jason’s death?? Right now we need to focus on Jason and his family during the grieving process. We are all hurt by this incident and all differences set aside, business and personal, we need to come together and become the “tow truck family” that is meant to be. Have some respect and save the gossip and drama until at least after Mr. Bailey is finally in his resting spot.

    • Pd Fletcher

      Mr. Parker, First and foremost, this is about Jason and his family, and their wishes to make something happen to prevent such a tragedy as this from happening again. Jason was the caliber of person that when you came to his place of business and badmouthed the company and person he worked for, still looked out for you and alerted you to a flat tire on your truck a few weeks ago and put air in it for you so you wouldn’t ruin your tire. We all should look to be as good a person as he was. Just because you are upset with me because I would not let your company, Midway towing hold a customers car hostage over the weekend to be able to charge more to the customer, please leave that out of this forum and deal directly with me, the owner of imbrokedown.com
      Being on the Henrico Police list should have standards that in my opinion you do not meet. Courtesy care and concern for the customers, the industry and everyone involved in roadside emergency calls should be the second focus of this so people like Jason Bailey and any of us including Police and ems are not taken away from their families senselessly. The roads have changed, the move over law is not enough to prevent this from happening again. After years of the seeing this happen over and over, we must act and make something happen, and put procedures in place to prevent reoccurrences. Please be active in that and not make distractions to what needs to be done. It will take someone like Jason and this family that lost a true and genuine family member and myself to make something happen and I will host a website for Jason and his family, and all other families of towers. Police, and ems to push for changes that need to be made to prevent having to go with a State Trooper to advise a loved one their family member will not be coming home tonight. And as Jason would have it, it would help protect you as well. I know what it is to stare the oncoming traffic down as I get down to hook up a car on the interstate, I see the Police officers with their back towards traffic as they perform their duties and the ems that is taking care of a person with very little protection. The roads have changed, we must make changes.
      I have several ideas and I know there may be some reluctance, but I feel it is my duty for Jason and every other person who has been in this situation to not stop until changes are made. There must be discussion on what can be done and changes made. Vdot has trucks on the road, what’s wrong with closing a lane to save a life? Their response may well be as we always hear, we cant close a lane? Why? Because it increases accidents? So if you cannot slow down and merge and hit the car in front of you, you should be written a ticket for following to close and the lane that was closed more than likely just saved the life of a tower, fire, ems, Police……isn’t it worth closing a lane? Hitting another vehicle due to your inability to drive properly will more than likely just be some vehicle repair, not a lost life unnecessarily. How do we pay for that? Stop the vdot trucks from just running back and forth, save that fuel, stage on designated exits, when a office pulls a vehicle over, two trucks go and close the lane closest to the officer, one of those vehicle gives protection form the traffic for the tower, office, ems, or fire, or when their is a vehicle being towed, close the lane closest to the vehicle, and we will see a reduction in lost lives. The motoring public will even benefit due to how many of the customers have been killed?
      Drunk or intoxicated driving is another issue that needs to be looked at in cases like this, its a whole other chapter, but lets work towards making some positive change for all of us, Jason would expect that form us.
      Jason did the right things in life, he also protected his customers having them either in the tow truck or in their vehicle and advised them to go to the tow to destination and he would be right there, before he performed his duties. I will not let you speaking without knowledge get me distracted from what needs to be done for all of us, Jason expects that, he would do the same for us, I have no doubt.

      Sincerely, Paul Fletcher

  • Robert Groffel

    I work at pepboys nine mile road mechanic there
    jason dropped of cars gor us all the time he was always kind did his job with a kind word or smile got his customers were they needed to be safely he will be missed an not forgoten
    we all at pepboys on nine mile road will miss hi,
    m should not have happened to him

  • K. Franklin

    I met Jason wen my car had broke down at the gas station and he was
    Very polite. He made sure me and my car was well taken care of. It is sadden that this happen to him. I might didn’t know him very well
    Bt I did knew he love his job. R.I.P Jason. And prayers go out to u and
    Your family and friends.

  • James R.

    i was first on scene and this happened right by my house. it was so horrible what myself and my neighbor walked up on. This will be forever imprinted in my head. if it is to any comfort to anyone, Jason did not suffer. The only thing we could think of to do before help arrived was to direct traffic to help protect jason and from any further mishaps. RIP Jason,

  • Jenny Bray

    There are currently two funds established to help the family of Jason Bailey. The tow truck company has set up a fund at http://www.gofundme.com to help with funeral costs. There is also Jason Bailey’s Memorial Fund to help support living expenses for his young fiance and infant son at youcaring.com during this difficult time. Donations may also be made directly to C&F bank under Jason Bailey’s Memorial Fund. There will be a fundraiser at Sweet Frog this Saturday with proceeds going to the Memorial Fund.

  • Mike Kernan

    Jason was a very hard worker and loved his job i think more then anyone we worked with sorry bud to see you go so soon you will be missed so much R.I.P. Mike Kernan

  • Mike Kernan

    It’s not about how bright the clothes we wear are because you people drink and drive all the time and it makes our jobs even harder being out on the roads

  • Bryan smith

    Why does it matter how bright are clothes are especially when we have flashing amber strobe lights and work lights on and emergency flashers on as well? If you can’t see flashing amber lights the you don’t need to be driving anymore. If you knew jason then you would have known he always wore some kind of neon yellow and neon orange reflective vest or jacket or etc. He even would go to sleep with his safety vest on at night or to dinner with it on he was one of the safest people I knew and the owner of the company did everything he could do to make us all safe every single time we went out and still does. Jason was a great friend and a great man he didn’t deserve his outcome by no means all because some careless man wanted to go out and have a good time. R.I.P JASON B. I will miss you

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