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Tow-truck driver killed by alleged drunk driver on 405 Freeway

December 9, 2012 | 10:45 am

A tow-truck driver helping a stranded motorist along the 405 Freeway in Long Beach was killed early Sunday after he was struck by a suspected drunk driver, authorities said.

The tow-truck driver, identified as Faapuna Manu, stopped along the freeway's right shoulder near the Orange Avenue exit about 2 a.m. to help the stranded driver, California Highway Patrol reported. Manu was standing at the driver's door of his truck inflating a spare tire when a Toyota veered onto the shoulder, striking Manu and the vehicle.

The Toyota then sideswiped the stranded vehicle, which was parked in front of the tow truck.

Manu was pronounced dead at the scene, CHP said.

The driver of the Toyota, identified as Raymond Burley, 26, of Los Angeles was arrested on suspicion of felony driving under the influence. Authorities said he suffered moderate injuries in the crash.

No other injuries were reported.

Friends and family told KTLA that Manu, 27, was a father of three and "full of life."

"He was an extraordinary guy," said Reginald Hughes, who attended church with Manu. "Whatever he did, he did a good job."

Michael Harris told the television station his cousin was "a lot of fun."

"He was the guy to be around," Harris said. "It's going to be tough this holiday without him."


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— Kate Mather

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