Truck Driver Flees Scene of Hit and Run
A couple was tragically killed Monday evening along the side of Florida's Turnpike as they attempted to change a flat tire on their car. The horrible car accident is made even more devastating by the tractor-trailer driver suspected of hitting them, who kept on driving without stopping.
Around 7:45 pm on October 7, the couple was changing their tire along the shoulder of the Turnpike, near Fort Pierce, at Mile Market 166. Florida State Troopers say the truck driver crashed into them and took off, killing them instantly. Troopers suspect it was a white Peterbuilt tractor cab pulling a flatbed trailer. They are still investigating the incident.
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Experiencing a tire blowout can be a scary experience when travelling at highway speeds, near so many fast-moving cars and big rigs. Your best option is to enroll in an emergency vehicle assistance service, like AAA. In Florida, the Department of Transportation provides a service called Road Ranger Assistance. This free service can be reached by dialing *347 (FHP) on your cell phone to request help with changing a flat, car break-down or other potentially dangerous roadway emergency. Since the program's inception in the year 2000, the Road Rangers have made over 3.9 million service assists.
If you do attempt to change your tire on your own, and assuming you can still navigate the vehicle, your first response should be to safely travel to the closest shoulder of the roadway. If possible, pull completely off the shoulder of the road into a grass area. Yes, this may make it harder to physically change your tire, but the bottom line is you need to be as far off the roadway as physically possible.
If you are with someone, always ask your passenger to keep their eyes on oncoming traffic to alert you immediately if they see any kind of vehicle that looks as if it may be heading off the highway in your direction.
This sad accident is just another reminder of how dangerous it can be to share the roads with such heavy commercial big rig trucks. And to compound the problem, you never know when a truck driver may lose control of the tractor trailer because of fatigue or drowsiness, distraction caused by texting while driving or even because of being under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
The personal injury attorneys at Goldberg, Racila, D'Alessandro & Noone urge you to use extreme caution if you need to change a flat tire alongside a busy highway. Better yet, call *347, and stay inside your car.