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Family Remembers Tow Truck Driver Killed While Helping Motorist in North Haven

Troopers are hoping to talk to anyone who might have seen the crash.

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Family and friends are remembering a tow truck driver that was struck and killed after stopping to help another driver.

Connecticut State Police said it happened over the weekend on Interstate 91 in North Haven. And now, they need your help with the investigation.

Troopers are hoping to talk to anyone who might have seen the crash.

 “When he was a kid he always had the heart to help other kids,” said Mark Russell, Chris' father.

Chris Russell's dad and aunt said he died doing a job he was meant for: helping others as a tow truck driver.

“He was such a compassionate person, very compassionate person. Very loving. Very friendly to anybody,” said Sharon Skelley, Chris' aunt.

Fellow drivers are already coming from all over to pay tribute to the 38-year-old with a caravan of tow trucks.

“They’re awesome. Blow me away,” Mark said.

“I just swell up with tears knowing that he was this loved,” Skelley said.

On Saturday, his family said Chris was coming back from a call when he noticed a driver who needed help near exit 11 on I-91 North in North Haven.

“His heart called. He’s seen the people in distress over there and his heart would not let him go by it. That’s the kind of person he was."

-Mark Russell

That’s when state police said another car struck Chris, who was standing in the breakdown lane.

Investigators reveal the car took off and then crashed several miles away near exit 14 in Wallingford. We’re told the driver of the car was found unconscious and taken to the hospital.

Chris died from the impact.

“They are all at risk and people have to be more aware of all of that,” Skelley said.

Chris' family is urging drivers to be careful and to slow down and move over when approaching tow trucks working on the highway. And they hope to remind parents and kids to give each other a hug and say I love you every single day.

“They may not be here tomorrow. I learned to love more now than ever through Chris,” Mark said.

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