Brian Love took in Don Duncan when he was homeless.
He would give someone a 30-minute answer to a yes or no question.
If someone needed a ride home, the taxi driver would drive them, even if they couldnt afford it.
He was just a very caring guy, said 66-year-old Duncan, of Auburn, who was friends with Love for at least 25 years.
Love, 56, was driving home early Friday after dropping off Duncan at his house following their shifts as cabbies when an SUV ran a red light and broadsided his cab, Auburn police said. Love, who was the only person in the cab, died at the scene.
Duncan described Love as a caring man with lots of stories. The two met when Love owned a pizza parlor, one of many jobs he held. He also worked at a spaghetti factory and drove an ice cream truck.
Love was a talker, Duncan said. For Love, a question that needed only a yes or no answer would merit a 30-minute response.
After shifts at Tims Taxis, the two would often get drinks at the Rainbow Cafe. Once, someone in the bar asked Love a question, which regulars knew was a mistake.
Everyone in the bar said, No, no, dont do that, because he would go on and on, Duncan said.
Love was engaged, Duncan said, and wanted to marry his fiancée so she would have help in case anything ever happened to him.
The SUV was traveling south on Auburn Way North at 5:50 a.m. when the driver ran the red light at East Main Street and collided with the eastbound taxi that had just begun moving through the intersection on a green light and was heading east on East Main Street, police Commander Mike Hirman said.
An Auburn police officer was one car ahead of the taxi and saw the accident in his rear-view mirror, Hirman said.
The male driver and a female passenger in the SUV suffered serious but non-life-threatening injuries and were taken to MultiCare Auburn Medical Center.
The driver left the scene but was soon caught a couple of blocks away, Hirman said.
The driver, Floyd D. Gonzales, 29, was booked into jail on suspicion of vehicular homicide and felony hit and run. He appeared in court Saturday for a bail hearing. He had not been formally charged, but bail was set at $1 million.
Staff writer Sean Robinson contributed to this report.