NEWPORT NEWs, Va. - A young boy is without his father, and a mother is without herson and best friend. Newport News Police say a drunk driverhit and killed 36-year-old Andy Starmer while he attempted to towanother man's van.
The Newport News Commonwealth's Attorney charged the driver thathit him, William Charles Burns, with Aggravated InvoluntaryManslaughter. He was arrested Monday night.
Police were called to the crash scene at I-64 Westbound near theVictory Boulevard Exit around 8:24 p.m. Sunday.
Starmer would have been 37 on Wednesday. His mother, Ima"Daisy" Starmer said she was with Andy when he was called out totow the broken down van. She told WAVY.com the last words her sonever said to her were, "I'll be back in 45 minutes. I loveyou."
Daisy walked with WAVY.com through the garden at her home inNewport News. She says Andy and his 11-year-old son planted thegarden and then competed with each other to see who could grow morevegetables.
"Oh yeah, we have good memories, but he's taken away from usnow," says Daisy.
It's hard to believe that in a place with such life, Ima's heartis broken because of death. Less than 24 hours ago, State Policeknocked on her door telling her her son was gone.
"If it wasn't for him I don't know sometimes what I would do andnow I don't know what I will do. He's just a young kid, takenaway...my baby," sobs Daisy.
WAVY.com was at the scene Sunday night on I-64. Police say51-year-old William Burns of Newport News was drunk when he lostcontrol of his 2005 Mitsubishi Raider truck and smashed into theback of Starmer's tow truck.
In the direct path of the out of control vehicle stood Starmer.He was hooking the last chain onto the broken down van. He neverknew, moments before he lost his own life, he saved someoneelse's.
"Him and the driver were standing (next to the tow truck) justmere seconds before (the crash) happened and he explained to theother driver, he said, 'Look sir, I really need you to go back onthe other side of the vehicle out of harms way because you neverknow what happens out here, okay?'" says Clarence Patrick ofSuperior Towing.
Patrick runs Superior Towing where Andy worked. He sayshis employee of seven years did everything right at the scene.
"He had the rotating lights up top going, had all the trucklights blinking and everything, before he got out of the truck, wewear reflective clothing."
WAVY.com wanted answers, so we knocked on William Burns's door.His brother answered saying only that Burns was "immobile" and"(The accident) is a terrible tragedy."
A tragedy that's left an 11 year-old without his father andfishing buddy, and a mother wondering how she'll go on.
"One day at a time. Just one day at a time," says Daisy.
Burns is charged with DUI and reckless driving. Investigators say the Commonwealth's Attorney has to see theevidence before any other charges may be filed.
In the meantime, police ask that no memorial be placed at thecrash scene because it could be distracting to other drivers andcause more accidents. Instead, a memorial in Andy's honor isgrowing at Superior Towing.
Newport News police officers are in the middle of a massive operation to get wanted criminals out of the neighborhoods. They are rounding up everyone who has an outstanding warrant.
Hampton Roads Transit customers could see higher fares to ride the bus, light rail and ferry.
Running a red light could cost you a hefty fine, even if an officer doesn't pull you over. Cameras are going up at intersections across Hampton Roads, and the most recent went live Monday in downtown Norfolk.