Tim Tufano, identified by family and confirmed by the state patrol as the inmate who was killed Monday in a chain-reaction accident on I-75 in Montgomery County while he worked as part of a litter crew, should be remembered as a family man and a brother, his son said.
“He wasn’t an inmate,” Andrew Tufano told News Center 7′s Molly Koweek. “He was a father. He was a brother.”
The Dayton Post of the Ohio State Highway Patrol is investigating the crash, which involved four vehicles and multiple pedestrians who were picking up litter as part of the Montgomery County Solid Waste Little Program.
A box truck, headed south on I-75 near the exit to state Route 741 in Moraine, struck a stopped county sheriff’s transport van just after 11 a.m. The impact pushed the van into the litter crew. The box truck continued left, across the lanes of I-75 South and hit the center concrete median barrier. There, it was struck by two southbound vehicles.
The worker, identified as 52-year-old Tim Tufano, suffered fatal injuries at the scene.
The other litter crew workers were injured and taken to area hospitals. The driver of one of the southbound vehicles suffered minor injuries and was taken to a hospital. The driver of the box truck and the driver of the other southbound vehicle “claimed possible minor injuries.”
The interstate was closed for approximately five hours.
Tufano had “a little bit” of a drinking problem, Andrew said, which may have been aggravated by the death of a fiancee a few months ago.
“He battled with himself with all of that,” the son said, noting his father was in the Montgomery County Jail on a DUI conviction -- and it wasn’t his first such conviction.
According to Montgomery County online court records, Tim Tufano was serving a 90-day mandatory jail sentence because he violated probation on a charge of operating a vehicle while under the influence (prior felony/under the influence). A second count was dismissed. Judge Mary Katherine Huffman also suspended Tufano’s driver’s license for 10 years as part of his punishment.
Even still, Andrew said his father is to be remembered as a “very firm and stern man” who was a family person and “an amazing dad and grandpa” who taught him how to be a father to his six children.
“When I needed him, he was there,” Andrew said.
As an example, he recalled when Tim Tufano was present and supportive when one of his grandchildren died.
“She has somebody there for her now,” Andrew said. “The only thing that’s bringing me comfort is that our daughter, Annabelle, and him are together.”