The I-95 overpass near Congress Avenue in Boca Raton, Florida, is going to be renamed for a tow truck operator who fell to his death while attempting to secure a semi-truck that was teetering at the edge of the overpass. The overpass will be named “Richard Jason Randolph Memorial Bridge.” The state legislature passed the renaming, which could become official by the end of this summer.
Richard Randolph, age 69, was a towing veteran with years of experience – he was close to retiring when the accident occurred. He was attempting to help a tractor-trailer that had crashed into the wall on the overpass, which had left it teetering in a precarious position. The semi-truck was exiting I-95 South and crossed over the median. The accident occurred in April of 2017.
Randolph’s widow, Judy Randolph, was his wife of 35 years. In an American Towman article, she said, “Such a good man. I miss his energy, and I just miss him.” She also wishes that something could be done about the I-95 overpass. “I just want them to change I-95 and Congress in the southbound lanes,” she said. “There’s been too many accidents, different kinds. Mostly people not paying attention.”
And she has a point. The overpass has been the scene of many, many accidents over the past few years. According to WPTV, there have been more than 150 collisions at the I-95 overpass since 2011. When these accidents occur, it brings out the emergency workers – such as tow truck operators. And that means that these people are risking their health and their lives. Randolph said that her husband was very good at his job. He was thorough, adhered to safety practices, and had lots of experience as a tower.
Following an earlier truck crash at the same site, the Florida Department of Transportation was in the process of trying to make the area safer. They were adding signs and changing the arrows painted on the road.
The overpass will be renamed to honor a man who dedicated years of his life to helping others. “I was told this is the first time they have honored a tow truck driver and he certainly deserved it, out there for 23 years and helped so many people,” Judy Randolph said.
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“Florida Overpass Renamed for Tower.” American Towman, June 2018, p. 8.