Memorial service held for tow truck driver killed while helping motorist

By Ashley Harding, General assignment reporter, aharding@wjxt.com
Jason Mealey, Producer, jmealey@wjxt.com
Published On: Aug 06 2014 09:55:50 AM EDT
Updated On: Jul 05 2014 07:06:57 PM EDT

VIDEO: A memorial was held for Kit Tappen after he was killed by a tractor trailer while helping a disabled vehicle on the side of the road. A line of tow trucks led the way to the funeral home in honor of the man who loved his children, trucking, and serving his country.

ST. AUGUSTINE, Fla. -

One week after a tow truck driver was killed on the job, his heartbroken family and friends prepare to say goodbye.

Forty-One-year old Kit Tappen was helping a driver whose car had broken down near International Golf Parkway last Saturday morning when a tractor trailer hit and killed him. Saturday, his loved ones honored his memory.

"He always had this big, goofy grin on his face. He was good with my kids. He loved being a daddy," said Tania Tappen, wife.

A line of tow trucks led the way to the St. Johns funeral home. Dozens of family and friends were there to pay respects to the man who loved trucking, adored his children, and also serving his country in the Navy.

"He served in Iraq. He was there when they took Baghdad and everything. He was so proud to protecting us," said one unnamed veteran.

When her husband wasn't protecting our nation, Tappen says his biggest concern was safety especially for his fellow truckers, who she says meant the world to him.

"Towing was like his life. I'm trying to remember that and make the truck drivers know how--make them see how special they were to him. They meant a lot to him. Just as much as his family," said Tappen.

With her focus now on her children, Tappen hopes sharing the memory of her husband will bring change.

"Hopefully, this changes the way people see things. And they see them on the side of the road and they get out of the way and they let them do their job safely. So no ones kids will have to go without their daddy," said Tappen

Also at Saturday's memorial, a flag was folded and given to Tappen's family in honor of his service.

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