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Tow truck driver memorial draws crowd of big rigs, supporters

The event honored Hans Michael Moore, who was struck by a driver suspected of drunk driving
A memorial procession is planned for tow truck driver killed on the job
A memorial procession is planned for tow truck driver killed on the job(ktuu)
Published: Nov. 30, 2020 at 6:29 PM AKST
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ANCHORAGE, Alaska (KTUU) - A memorial procession Wednesday evening honoring Hans Michael Moore, who was fatally struck in a collision while working on a tow assignment over the weekend, included dozens of tow trucks and service vehicles as well as another large group of spectators and supporters.

The big group came together for a procession along the Glenn Highway, starting in Eagle River and ending at the old Sam’s Club parking lot in Muldoon. Though Moore had been working specifically with Vulcan Towing and Recovery for about six months at the time he was killed in East Anchorage, the gathering drew attendees from across the board: Cody Gray, for example, who owns competitor company Elite Towing and Recovery out of Wasilla, was one of the people to put the memorial together. Fellow truckers from groups across the region gathered to show their support.

“We all don’t know each other,” said Joe Massey of Blue Arctic Waste Management. “I mean, this is here and there, friends and acquaintances with each other. But we’re kind of bringing the community together, showing our respect.

“These trucks in this weather,” he added, “we need them quite often.”

Police said earlier this week that Moore was loading a vehicle that was stuck in a ditch on Debarr Road, near Pine Street, at about 3 a.m. Sunday. Officers had arrested the driver of that vehicle, eventually charging them with operating under the influence, about an hour before that.

As Moore worked to free the vehicle, however, he was struck by 23-year-old Michelle Parker, police said. Moore was taken to an area hospital, but was pronounced dead there.

“The road conditions are already bad enough as it is,” said Matthew Duke, a family member of Moore’s. “And then what they’re doing, and then something like this happens, there’s no excuse for it.”

Jenifer Macalino, who worked with Moore at Vulcan, said the towing and trucking community is like family. Even with him having been on board for less than a year, she said, Mike made an impact on people, and he’s already missed.

“Mike will always be in our hearts,” she said. “He’ll always be with us. Wherever we go, we’ll take him with us. We love him. We love his family. He’s such a nice guy, such a good guy.”

Justin Creech, owner of Vulcan, said Moore was his father-in-law and had recently been laid off from a job on the North Slope, and picked up towing in the meantime. There was no excuse for what happened, he said.

“Make the initiative to move over,” he said. “If you see a vehicle on the side of the road, working on the side of the road, move over.”

Not only is that the law, he said, but it’s also the right thing to do.

“Give that person some room,” he said. “Don’t hug the yellow line. Try to do your part.”

Authorities said they believe Parker, who was also driving without her headlights on, was operating under the influence, and charged her as such. She is also facing a charge of manslaughter and assault. Parker also has a prior OUI from 2019.

Video edited by photojournalist Phil Walczak. Copyright 2020 KTUU. All rights reserved.