STOCKTON -- A tow truck operator working on the side of Interstate 5 on Christmas was killed when he was hit by a suspected drunken driver.
Just before 2 a.m., Juan Morga, was loading a vehicle onto his truck on the shoulder of northbound I-5, just north of West Mathews Road.
The CHP reports a 2001 GMC lost control and veered into the shoulder, hitting the tow truck operator. It then overturned back into traffic, hitting two other vehicles. Juan Morga died at the scene. He was 48.
The victim's son, Jorge Morga, says it feels like there's a void in the family now and this is a Christmas they'll never forget.
"The only thing that I will remember is hearing the screams and wails from my mom," Jorge said.
Juan Morga owned and operated Bob's Towing in Stockton since 2011 and had more than a dozen years of experience as a truck operator.
Despite the Morga's tragic death, the family reopened for business the next day, saying it's something Juan would have wanted.
"He was an amazing father, he was an amazing man, son, husband and he was an excellent businessman. No matter what business he went into, that business would succeed," Jorge said. "We have this great picture of him that we carry back and forth. At the end of the shift here, we take him back home and when we're leaving home, we take him back here, just to continue his daily workday."
CHP Stockton says the GMC's driver, 25-year-old Kylle Thomasson of Stockton, was booked into the San Joaquin County Jail on suspicion of felony manslaughter and driving under the influence.
Thomasson was on the 10th and 15th seasons of American Idol, according to the CHP.
Jorge says he does want the driver held responsible but that he's trying not to have hate in his heart.
"I know he didn't wake up that morning and say I want to go kill somebody. I know he didn't mean to do it but you know hearing that this happened, it's heartbreaking," he said.
Jorge says it's hard to cope with knowing his father's death was preventable.
"He wont be able to be there physically to see me walk the stage when I graduate, see me receive my letters of acceptance; to see my little sister, who is 14 and [in three months] she'll be turning 15 and she would be having her quinceanera, but unfortunately a senseless act like this took him away," he said.