After fatal crashes, advice for drivers who need to pull over on busy roads

Car on asphalt road on summer day at park. Automobile on highway(Getty Images/iStockphoto/LeManna)
WASHINGTON — After a pair of fatal crashes, police are telling drivers that they should do whatever they can to remain inside their vehicles if they need to pull over on a busy highway.

Over the past week, two drivers were struck and killed moments after they opened their doors and stepped out.

“Stay in your vehicle,” said Maryland State Police Sgt. Davaughn Parker. “Your vehicle is actually protection from another vehicle striking you.”

A good Samaritan died in Prince George’s County, Maryland, Sunday morning when she left her car to help a driver who had lost control and crashed.

According to Maryland State Police, Jhoanna Caballero was hit and killed after she pulled over at the scene of the crash on U.S. Route 50 near Maryland Route 410.

The driver of the striking vehicle was arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence.

A couple days later, in Warren County, Virginia, another person was killed after leaving his vehicle.

The man had stopped to fix a flat tire on his pickup truck on Interstate 66 Tuesday night when he was struck by a tractor-trailer.

According to Virginia State Police, the tractor-trailer did not stop and continued east on I-66.

“A lot of people want to get out of the vehicle, but it’s not always the smartest thing to do,” Parker warned.

According to Parker, people who have major car trouble on a busy highway, and cannot exit the highway, should move to a far shoulder and stay out of traffic lanes.

Parker said they should make a phone call to get help. But, if they need to make repairs themselves, he said they should be extremely careful.

“The biggest thing is to stay visible,” Parker said. “It helps if a driver is wearing some type of reflective material.”

If someone is involved in a crash or sees a crash, Parker said the best thing to do is to stay inside their vehicle and call 911 rather than getting out.


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Nick Iannelli

Nick Iannelli can be heard covering developing and breaking news stories on WTOP.

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