Worker changing tire dead after being struck by truck in Howard Co.

A man is dead after being struck by a truck while trying to change a motorist’s tire on the side of the road in Howard County, Maryland, state police said Thursday.

Muhammad Shehzad, 38, of Ellicott City, died in the crash around 11:30 a.m. on eastbound I-70, east of Marriottsville Road.



Shehzad was a contractor for AAA, Maryland State Police said in a news release. They believe he was changing a tire on a Mercedes on the right shoulder of the road and was struck by a Chevrolet Colorado as he was walking back to his AAA road service vehicle.

The Chevy truck was later found about 100 feet off the right side of the roadway in a wooded area.

Police said Shezhad was wearing reflective clothing while he was working on the side of the road. His hazard lamps and emergency lights were also on at the time of the crash.

Authorities believe the Chevy truck crossed the white edge line, onto the shoulder, and struck both the AAA vehicle and Shehzad. The truck then continued off the highway, over an embankment and into a tree, where it stopped.

The driver of the truck was taken to the hospital. Charges are pending the outcome of the investigation, police said.

“We are saddened to learn of the tragic loss of our contracted AAA tow truck driver, Muhammad Shehzad, who was on the side of the road doing his job changing a member’s tire,” said Richard G. Towner Jr., vice president of Roadside Assistance with AAA, in a statement.

“Our hearts go out to his family and others in the towing community who help people every day. We are grateful for Muhammad Shehzad’s service as a first responder. His tragic death highlights the dangers roadside workers face daily. As drivers, we all need an awareness of those working on the side of the road and act to create a safe space for them by moving over a lane — when we safely can — to prevent possible tragedies.”

The cause of the crash is still being investigated.

Will Vitka

William Vitka is a Digital Editor and reporter for WTOP.com. He's been in the news industry for over a decade. Before joining WTOP, he worked for CBS News, Stuff Magazine, The New York Post and wrote a variety of books—about a dozen of them, with more to come.

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