St. JOHNS COUNTY, Fla. – A Putnam County man died early Tuesday morning after his tow truck struck a tractor-trailer that had been parked on the ramp near the rest area on Interstate 95 in southern St. Johns County, according to the Florida Highway Patrol.
FHP Sgt. Dylan Bryan said Darren Grincewich struck a semi that had just started to pull onto the highway between U.S. 1 and state Road 206 about 4:15 a.m.
Grincewich, 34, of Satsuma, Florida, died at the scene.
The driver of the semi that was struck, Ener Suarez, 31, of Hialeah, was taken to Flagler Hospital in St. Augustine with minor injuries.
Troopers were investigating whether or not the semi had its lights on when it was rear-ended. No citations have been issued.
The two vehicles involved remained on site for several hours as troopers investigated the crash, slowing northbound traffic. One northbound lane remained closed past 2 p.m. The FHP also said the rest stop remains closed due to damage to the asphalt on the ramp.
News4Jax learned Grincewick was the father of three children and expecting a fourth child.
“That man was like a brother to me,” said Robbie White, who has known Grincewick for five years. “He was a very uplifting person with a big heart. His family came first. His racing family came right after that and he loved working, doing towing."
Grincewich was a member of Casey Feaster Motorsports/Mocha Missile Racing and meant the world to the team.
“He loved his racing. We have a tight racing community,” White said. “He was definitely the highlight of every little party. No matter bad or good, he was always bringing laughter and cheer into any situation.”