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Cagle Law Firm
Attorney Zane Cagle

Posted on April 17th, 2012,
by Zane Cagle

Tow-Truck Driver Struck and Killed on I-70 in St. Louis, Missouri

Posted on April 17th, 2012 by Zane Cagle

Tow-Truck Driver Struck and Killed on I-70 in St. Louis, MissouriTragically, a St. Louis tow truck driver was killed in an alleged hit and run accident on Interstate 70 eastbound near West Florissant Avenue. The accident occured around 9:30 p.m.on Monday evening.  According to authorities, a 21 year-old suspect has been arrested.  The 51 yr old victim worked for AAA Auto Club and according to the victim’s wife, he was on his last call of the evening.  The St. Louis Post Dispatch also reports that the victim had on safety vest and was putting down flares in an attempt to assist a stranded motorist.  According to his wife he was well trained, had been on the job since Dec 1, 2011 but he always complained about drivers not being cautious.

I have spoken with many tow truck drivers who say they feel  like they are putting their lives in the hands of strangers when they answer a call on a busy interstate such as I-70, I-40 and I-270.  As a fellow motorist, do you part: keep a watch out for all traffic concerns, pay attention, do not text and drive and Slow Down.

I-70 is one of the busiest interstates in the Midwest and was also one of the first. I cannot tell you how many accident victims I have assisted as a result of traffic accidents on Interstate 70.  Remarkably, I have had a number of clients who have been seriously injured or have lost loved ones when they were struck by another car or a semi-truck when their car or loved one’s car broke down on the side of I-70. I myself, have experienced a blowout in my own car in heavy truck traffic while on I-70—it was a scary experience.  I chose to sacrifice a wheel and a rim and continued to drive on it until I got to an exit primarily because those client’s faces flashed into my mind when the blowout occurred.  I realize that continuing to drive on a blowout is not an option for everyone, but if it is—do it in order to safely reach an exit.

Numerous clients of ours have told me horrific stories of their car becoming disabled and in their attempts to get if off of the road were rear ended by other passenger cars and in a couple of situations, a semi-truck. Anyone that has driven on I-70 knows those crashes do not occur at low rates of speed.  Due to the congestion and speed of traffic, a simple flat tire can easily turn into a serious injury or fatality.

In the story mentioned above, the victim was not the stranded motorists but an emergency assistance worker. Being an emergency roadside assistance worker can be far more dangerous than many of us think.  They do work on the side of the road including trying to load vehicle while traffic passes within mere feet of them anywhere from 40-80 mph.

Besides a bright safety vest and flares, what more could the roadside assistance worker do to protect himself?

The answer is not an easy one. Short of calling an officer in order to isolate the stranded vehicle or reduce traffic to few lanes to bypass the stranded motorists, there is not a whole lot of other solutions on our busy interstates.

What can You do to help?

When you see a stranded car or roadside assistance worker, reduce your speed.  If you see them enough in advance, move over to the opposite lane (assuming you are on a multi-lane interstate).  You may want to turn on your flashers in order to warn traffic behind you as well. Ultimately, you can control other drivers but you can exercise patience and road manners.  We have all had a car break down on us before and know the stress of simply finding transportation and getting our car out of traffic. Doing your part to help eliminate auto accidents and truck accidents utlimately helps you as well as other drivers.

When the blowout happened to me, I was far more worried about getting off of I-70 and to safety than I was about how/when my car was going to be replaced or how much it may take to fix my car.  Actually getting home safely to my wife and kids was my first priority. Of course, the whole experience was real pain in the behind…….most all of us have expereinced that hassle. But, I was happy my damaged car was my biggest concern.

If you or a loved one has been injured due to the negligence of another in an auto accident, it is important to first seek medical assistance. Soon after, you should contact an expereinced personal injury attorney in order to examine your options.  In every accident, a thorough investigation needs to occur to determine the factors in the crash. If you were hit by a semi-truck, then many other factors and Federal regulations must be examined.  You may not need an attorney if you are not seriously injured. However, calling and getting a free consultation costs you nothing and provides information to make an informed decision. Call Zane Cagle  of The Cagle Law Firm to learn your options: 1(314) 276-1681.