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Deadly I-95 overpass named for tow truck driver


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An Interstate 95 exit ramp that has been the scene of frequent, and sometimes deadly, crashes has been named for a tow truck driver who lost his life there.

Richard Jason Randolph, 69, of West Boca, fell to his death April 12, 2017, while working to right an overturned tractor-trailer on the I-95 overpass in Boca Raton.

 

That crash happened about 5:30 a.m. when truck driver Adrian Figueredo, 38, of Miami, left southbound I-95 at the Congress Avenue exit and failed to make a sharp right turn. The truck barreled through a median and hung over the overpass wall, according to the Florida Highway Patrol.

 

Randolph was working to remove the truck from the bridge wall when he slipped and fell to his death on I-95.

 

His wife of 35 years, Judy Randolph, said her husband had been towing vehicles for about 30 years and was planning to retire a few months later on his 70th birthday.

 

“I’m thrilled about the sign,” she said. “Everything is a constant reminder [of] Rich, but life goes on and I know he’s watching over us and guiding us. He was quite a guy.”

 

One of two 5-foot-long, 3-foot-wide signs bearing her husband’s name was unveiled at a ceremony Tuesday at the Boca Raton Fire Station auditorium. The signs are being displayed on the east and west sides of the overpass.

 

Daughter Kathy Miller said the family hopes the signs will serve as a reminder to motorists to drive more carefully.

 

“We can all make a difference,” she said. “If we’re all paying attention when we’re on the road we might be saving lives and don’t even know it.”

 

The exit ramp has been the scene of more than three dozen crashes since 2011 and at least seven crash-related deaths since 2007, according to state records.

Since Randolph’s death, the Florida Department of Transportation installed more speed limit signs, traffic signal-ahead signs, reflective markers, yellow paint on the curb below the markers, a right turn arrow sign at the intersection, and the words “exit only” painted on the right lane pavement approaching the Congress Avenue exit.

 

The speed limit was lowered to 30 mph on the exit ramp and to 5 mph at the top of the ramp for a sharp right turn through the T-shaped intersection. But vehicles coming off I-95 going at least 65 mph have about a quarter mile to slow down.

 

“We’re hoping every little bit helps.” Miller said.

 

Randolph’s employer, Emerald Towing in Pompano Beach, launched the effort to have the state legislature name the overpass for Randolph.

 

“He was just an everyday guy doing an important job,” Judy Randolph said. “Never had an ego about it. He just loved his work and helped a lot of people.”

 

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