SR-125 tow truck procession for man killed

SAN DIEGO — The life of a tow truck driver hit and killed on New Years Eve is being celebrated. Dale Alan Pumphrey was struck while working to move a car on State Route 125 in San Diego County near Jamacha Road.

Friends and family held a procession Saturday. Tow trucks drove from El Cajon — where Pumphrey lived — to the Cypress View Mortuary on Imperial Avenue. 

"We developed a friendship over 15 years and just became family," said Karl Fields, the general manager of the tow truck company.

He was said to have been working to put a gold Toyota Camry on his tow truck New Years Eve. That's when a Toyota Prius hit him and crashed into the back of his tow truck. 911 was called but first responders could not save him. He was pronounced dead at the scene. 

"You could tell by what they're doing today, all the tow trucks coming out for him," said Pam Coutret, a friend of Pumphrey. "I mean what a sendoff."

The driver's name hasn't been released. Drugs or alcohol aren't believed to be involved, according to CHP officials. 

"He was a good friend, a good husband. We're all gonna miss him," Coutret said.

"He was hardworking and he would go help anybody," Fields said. "Honestly any tow he would never complain, nasty weather, dangerous spots, he would rescue people and get them off the road."

Loved ones have a message for the community: slow down and move over when you see a tow truck or emergency vehicle on the side of the road. 

WATCH RELATED: Maximum enforcement weekend ends Monday night, CHP reports


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