MOLINE, Ill. — Dozens of tow truck operators drove into downtown Moline Friday morning to honor a fellow operator killed on the job last week.
Mark Muske, 52, of Milan, Ill., was struck and killed on I-80 westbound in Bettendorf in the early hours of April 17, according to Iowa State Patrol.
Friends and co-workers say Muske was a dedicated worker who loved his job and his family even more.
"If you send him a call, he texts you with 'okie dokie' every single time he would," Mark's boss at Tegeler Wrecker & Crane, Holly Paris told News 8's Collin Riviello. "He was happy and loved what he did and just wanted to work. He wanted to provide for his family and do his job."
Police say Muske was helping a broken down vehicle on the side of the road when he was hit by a Jeep. He was declared dead at the scene.
"There's no reason for it, at all," Muske's friend Shannon Smith said. "None."
According to the incident report, two people were inside the Jeep, Anthony Darvell Miller, 43, of Iowa City, and Morgan J Miller, 27, of Chicago. Both were taken to a nearby hospital for unknown injuries.
"He took somebody's life," Smith said. "Not only somebody, he was my best friend."
Police have not released who was driving the Jeep at the time of the incident and charges are still listed as pending. But Smith says it was an avoidable accident.
"No one was on the road. He should have been in the other lane. There's lights everywhere. I mean, you couldn't miss him, it was night, they were everywhere."
Paris says she was in tears immediately after being notified of the accident.
"I got the call [and] I instantly started crying," Paris said. "I was scared for my whole team. I was nervous for everybody involved and [didn't know] what the next steps would be and what would be involved in making sure that the team found out in a manner that was appropriate for everybody."
Muske worked at Tegeler's Davenport location, but employees from Tegeler's other locations showed up in their tow trucks to pay their respect.
"Nothing was more important than somebody else's life " Paris said. "Mark's life was just as important."
She says Muske had followed all the safety protocols that night.
"If we were out there again, that same night, we'd have done it exactly the same," Paris said. "We'd have had the lights on on the wrecker [and] the reflective clothing on. We were well off of the shoulder where we were supposed to be to do our job."
And the onus was and is on other drivers to ensure her employees come home to their friends and family.
"We have a job to do," Paris said. "The motorists' job is to move over and slow down."
A GoFundMe has been set up to help his family with funeral costs. To view that page, you can click/tap here.