North Carolina State Troopers closed down a section of I-485 near Charlotte, North Carolina (N.C.) for 3 hours last Saturday morning after an accident caused a chain reaction. As reported by Charlotte’s WBTV, the Mecklenburg Police alleged that a drunk driver collided with a DOT truck about 4:30 that morning. An hour afterward, an SUV struck a tractor trailer that was stalled from the initial accident.

After the dust settled from the multi vehicle wreck, three folks were brought to the hospital sustaining unknown injuries. Additionally, another driver struck a patrol car that was parked at the accident scene. The patrolman assisting the site had to dive out of the way narrowly escaping injury himself. It was reported that it took several hours until I-485 was reopened for traffic.

In many cases a road-side crash site can act as magnet drawing in other cars and causing further wrecks, usually due to distracted driving. Most rescue workers and highway patrolmen are well aware of this danger and will always strive to gain order to the scene and get off the road side as quickly as possible.

Despite safety procedures and proper protocol secondary crashes can occur and the result often adds further injuries and complications including taking out those already there assisting the injured. One of the first responders to the scene, a police officer, had to dodge the secondary crash vehicle by diving off the road and narrowly escaping injury, perhaps even death.

Many are not as lucky as the officer mentioned above. Please be aware of the danger of secondary crashes along the roadside. Always take extreme caution if you find yourself along the roadside whether due to a crash or breakdown. It has been shown in studies that out of all fatal car accidents, a full 35 percent are from roadside crashes in the United States.