Anguish Over Death Of Tow Truck Driver Killed By Suspected Drunk Driver


UPDATED: Sunday September 30, 2012 12:14 AM

The death of William Houck left friends and relatives devastated on Saturday after they heard how police thought the tow truck driver died.

Houck, 60, was hitching a vehicle to his tow truck along Interstate 71 around 3:45 a.m. when a northbound car hit the disabled vehicle, according to authorities.

The impact killed Houck.

Columbus police closed the highway at Cooke Road for more than three hours to conduct their investigation. They indicated they suspected alcohol played a factor in the crash.

Thomas Frederick, 59, was questioned by investigators. There was no word on Saturday of any charges against him.

Houck's niece, Terri Skipper, told 10TV that if drunk driving was the cause of her uncle's death, it would be unforgivable.

"That man stole my uncle. He stole him. He stole him from my aunt. He stole him from my cousins. And I don't know that I can ever forgive that," Skipper said.

Jim Shriner, the owner Broad & James towing, equated losing Houck to losing a brother.

"I tell these guys, be careful out there. I've been out there. I see the cars. They're coming (this) close to you. And people don't slow down. People don't care. People are drinking. And like I said, at the end of the day, you want to come home to your family. And Bill's not,"  Jim Shriner tearfully said.

Houck's death was the 46th traffic-related fatality in Columbus this year. It was still under investigation.

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