Tow truck driver killed in Auburn I-80 hit-and-run ID'd

CHP looking for driver who fled the scene
By: Journal Staff Report
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AUBURN CA - A tow truck driver, David Garfield Robinson, Jr., 30, of Citrus Heights, died in the hospital after being struck Tuesday by a hit-and-run vehicle on westbound Interstate 80 near Auburn.

The Placer County Coroner's Office released Robinson's name Wednesday morning.

Westbound traffic on Interstate 80 was closed for about an hour at the Ophir Road off-ramp with drivers being detoured onto Ophir Road. 

The tow truck was parked on the side of I-80 but partly sticking out into the slow lane of the three-lane roadway, about a quarter mile west of the Ophir Road offramp just outside of Auburn city limits.

Robinson, a driver at Golden State Towing from Sacramento, had left the vehicle and was pushed into the driver's side door and into the front driver's-side fender, California Highway Patrol Officer David Martinez said.

Robinson was taken by ambulance to a Sutter Roseville Medical Center in serious condition, where he died from his injuries, Martinez said.

Martinez said no vehicles were parked with the tow-truck when the victim was struck so it was not immediately known why the truck was parked at the side of the freeway.

Investigators were examining car parts that could have been left by the vehicle that left the scene of the incident. The California Highway Patrol was treating the incident as a hit-and-run and the location as a possible crime scene.

Martinez added Wednesday that the Highway Patrol had received several leads on identifying the vehicle that struck Robinson.

"We're still looking into possible leads," Martinez said. "As part of the investigation, we're looking into all the leads we're getting."

While the Highway Patrol is not rulling out any other vehicles, Martinez said one possibility is that it was a silver sedan.

The CHP is requesting that anyone who has any information regarding the collision or a description of the vehicle or driver who fled the scene to call (916) 663-3344.

The incident was first reported at 4:15 p.m. Tuesday. At 5:28 p.m., the freeway's westbound lanes past Ophir Road toward Newcastle were re-opened.

Traffic going eastbound on Interstate 80 was also slowed.

The Journal will update this report as more information becomes available.