San Diego

Driver Pleads Guilty to 2nd-Degree Murder in Tow Truck Driver's Death

Fred Griffith, an employee of Road One San Diego, was struck and killed on the side of State Route 52 in February 2017

A man faces 25 years to life in prison after pleading guilty to second-degree murder for crashing his car into a tow truck driver, killing him.

Michael Gilbert Gray, 50, pleaded guilty to second-degree murder with two serious felony priors, according to the San Diego County District Attorney's Office. 

He drove with a .24 percent blood-alcohol level when he drove off State Route 52 and onto the shoulder, colliding with a tow truck driver who was on the side of the highway.

Fred Griffith, 55, an employee of RoadOne San Diego, was struck and killed in the collision on Feb. 23, 2017.

After Gray struck Griffith, he fled the scene, prosecutors say, but an off-duty California Highway Patrol officer saw the crash and pulled him over. 

Several days after Griffith's death, more than 100 tow truck and flatbed carriers from across San Diego County created a tow truck and emergency vehicle procession.

Trucks rolled out of the lot with headlights, four-way flashers and amber lights on as they headed down Ruffin Road toward State Route 52 eastbound. 

The procession continued up over the Mission Trails Summit, past the crash site, and mid-way up the summit between Santos Road and Mast Boulevard. 

Griffith, a single father of three boys and beloved tow truck driver, was loved by many in the community during his more than 20 years in the industry. 

Michael Gray faces 30 years to life in prison and is being held on $3 million bail for his alleged role in a crash that killed a tow truck driver as he worked on a disable vehicle on the shoulder of the highway. NBC 7's Astrid Solorzano is downtown with more information.

Gray faces a stipulated sentence of 25 years to life in prison, prosecutors said.

Contact Us