MAYWOOD, Ill. (WLS) -- A tow truck driver who was struck and killed on the Eisenhower Expressway in west suburban Maywood Wednesday morning has been identified.
Illinois State Police said Andrew R. Dove-Ferdere, 23, of Berkeley, Ill., died on the scene after he was struck while standing outside his tow truck with his emergency lights activated to tow cars from a previous crash.
The incident occurred at about 6:03 a.m. when a vehicle traveling along the eastbound lanes of I-290 near 9th Avenue veered onto the right shoulder, striking the tow truck driver and an unoccupied vehicle parked ahead of the tow truck.
Dove-Ferdere worked for O'Hare Towing Service. The company released a statement Wednesday that said, in part: "We are absolutely heartbroken for all those involved... This is a tragic reminder why slowing down and moving over is important for all emergency vehicles."
The owner said he was nearly done with his first overnight shift of the new year.
"I've never had a tragedy like this ever before, and quite frankly this is the worst day I've ever had being in business," said Bill Gratzianna, owner of O'Hare Towing Service.
Gartzianna got a call early Wednesday morning about a crash on the shoulder of eastbound I-290 near 9th Avenue. He sent Dove-Ferdere to assist state police in towing two cars from the crash.
"Our Andrew had one vehicle about three-quarters of the way loaded up on a flatbed truck," Gratzianna said.
State troopers said Dove-Ferdere had his emergency lights activated when he was struck and killed.
"I can put my guys in the best gear, in the best trucks, with the best lights and train them. I consider all of my operators the best, and if people don't slow down and move over, none of that matters," said Gratzianna.
The flag outside the company's office is flying at half-staff in Dove-Ferdere's memory. According to Gratzianna, a tow truck is driver is killed every six days on the job, on average.
"Hit somebody in a construction zone and it's 10 years in jail and thousands of dollars fine, but when a towing operator gets hit it's just a horrific accident," he said. "The point of the matter is if we slowed down and moved over we wouldn't be talking right now."
Police said the driver of the vehicle who struck the tow truck driver was transported to a hospital with minor injuries.
All lanes were shut down for over three hours as police investigated.
The investigation remains open and police have not said if the driver will be charged.