Speed and rain-slicked pavement combined to cause the death of a man waiting beside his disabled pickup truck on the interstate around Charlotte, North Carolina (NC). The deadly crash occurred near the eastbound I-485 Outer Loop interchange with southbound I-77 on the evening of November 2, 2015.
The man who lost his life experienced a tire blowout and pulled onto the median. He phoned for help and was speaking with his girlfriend when a car skidded off the interstate and struck him down. The car's driver also suffered injuries in the collision.
According to television station Fox 46, the surviving driver was charged with causing a death. Police said that although the at-fault driver was not exceeding the posted speed limit, they were traveling too fast for road conditions and hydroplaned. A law enforcement official used news of the fatal collision to remind people to reduce their speed when heavy rains fall.
This was the second fatality within three days that involved a person who had gotten out of their vehicle following an incident on the interstate around Charlotte. In the earlier tragedy, an alleged drunk driver swerved into a person who had hit a concrete barrier after avoiding an earlier wreck with a broken-down car in a travel lane. That crash is also being treated as an attempted hit-and-run because the apparently intoxicated driver tried to exit the highway despite knowing emergency responders were already on the scene.
Even on the interstate, drivers must watch out for people on foot. This is obvious in construction zones, but too many people neglect to slow down and move over when approaching crash scenes, traffic stops and disabled vehicles. Individuals have no protection against severe, often-deadly injuries when hit by cars and trucks traveling at interstate speeds. Drivers must act as though they hold others' lives in their hands, because they do.