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Tow Truck Procession Honors Fallen Driver

Tow truck drivers from around Florida paid their respects Sunday to a Largo driver.

Tow trucks and other heavy trucks are a familiar site in Largo with road construction happening all around town. But Sunday's procession of about 60 trucks was in memory of a Scott Edward Hinchliffe.

The 46-year-old Madeira Beach man was driving his heavy-duty tow truck July 9 on Interstate 75 in Manatee County  Hinchliffe's right front tire blew, and his truck hit an embankment.  The accident shut down the Interstate at the Erie Road overpass overnight.

"What we do is incredibly dangerous. Most of the pubic sees us as they fly down the road,"  Ginger Darling, owner of Nationwide Towing. "Scott was a kind person. He cared a great deal about people. He would stop and tow someone, even if he would not get paid."

Darling organized the memorial procession, which went down Indian Rocks, Ulmerton and Belcher roads. The trucks passed , where Hinchliffe worked. At Joe's each truck approached, turned off its lights, paid its respects and continued on the journey back to the cemetery, Darling said.

Hinchliffe will be missed.

"Scott always drove big trucks. He was a very good worker, very polite. He was a good guy all around," said Joseph Kolodziej, owner of Joe's.

"When one of us leaves, they have paid their dues and we show them that we remember them," Darling said. "When something like this occurs there is a lot of heartache felt from all sides and for the owner(s) involved these are the set of shoes we never want to walk in."

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