TAMPA, Fla.  (WFLA) – Emotions ran high in a Hillsborough County courtroom Monday afternoon as a Lakewood Ranch man convicted of hitting and killing a tow truck driver on the side of the road last October found out how long he would spend in prison.

Gregory Miller stood silently as the judge read his sentence, after having spent nearly a year behind bars since the accident.

Miller was found guilty of DUI manslaughter in the death of Troy McGuire of Ruskin, as he worked in the breakdown lane of I-75 South.

“I’m not upset with Mr. Miller. He can’t bring my son back but God knows, he should’ve quit driving and drinking,” the victim’s father, Troy McGuire Sr. told the judge as he wiped tears from his eyes.

In the courtroom, McGuire’s family relived that horrific night in the early morning hours of October 9, 2016, as they knew what could have been, but now wasn’t.

McGuire’s son, Jason, told the judge about how the loss of his father changed the entire family’s life.

“Getting his granddaughter, which she only way that I can do right now, is take her to the grave site,” Jason told the judge.

McGuire’s death not only shook his family, but also the family of fellow tow truck drivers to the core.

Ever since the crash, his tow truck family has been pleading with the public not to drink and drive and to follow the law to move and over and slow down when first responders are on the shoulder.

“I would like to say, in my eyes, no matter what sentencing or pleas you are given,” Cynthia Yeatman, McGuire’s widow told the court. “They’re not good enough or long enough because Mr. Miller is old enough to know right from wrong.”

Hillsborough County State Attorney Andrew Warren says the sentence of eight years is appropriate, but still, they wanted more.

He said the families agreed with the sentencing, because at the end of the day, they understood the most important thing was to reduce the number of DUI deaths in Hillsborough County.

“We were able to reach a sentence that makes sure that the defendant is held accountable, serves a long prison time,” Warren told News Channel 8 outside the courtroom.

When asked if Miller took full responsibility, Andrew Parks, the defendant’s attorney, said, “Let me just state, in the beginning, my client took full responsibility.”

Miller will also serve seven years of probation and have his driver’s license permanently revoked.

Follow Paul Mueller on Facebook