Two tow truck drivers have been killed in a tragic accident in Newport News after one of the drivers lost control of his truck. Both drivers died at the scene on the shoulder of I-64.
View I-64 crash at Victory Blvd. in a larger map
The accident that brought chaos and long delays to Interstate 64 in northern Newport News, Virginia (VA), occurred between the Jefferson Avenue and Victory Boulevard exits on eastbound I-64. Involved were two trucks from the local companies Superior Towing from Newport News and Big Boy's Towing from Hampton, the Daily Press reported.
State police said the driver of the Superior truck had responded to a breakdown scene to tow a disabled vehicle from the right shoulder of the Interstate. The truck operator was loading a car onto his truck when the driver of the Big Boy's truck lost control of his vehicle and struck the parked truck.
"The Big Boy's truck then flipped over and skidded more than 400 feet on its roof, " the newspaper reported.
Police are still investigating the cause of this tragic accident. They say it's possible that the driver of the Big Boy's truck may have lost control of the truck due to "ongoing heart issues."
Our experienced Virginia personal injury attorneys have reported on a number of accidents in which tow truck drivers have been either killed or injured. They often put themselves in a highly vulnerable position while picking up disabled vehicles on the shoulders of interstates.
Although accidents involving towed vehicles are more common, tow truck operators take considerable risks when they work on the side of highways.I reported on a case in 2009 in which a tow truck driver was killed close to the site of Wednesday's accident, on I-64 close to Victory Boulevard in Newport News, VA. In that case alcohol was involved, leading a pickup driver to swerve off the road.
To help make sure other road users notice them, Towing and Recovery Association of America informs its members that the Federal Highway Administration requires all roadside workers to wear high-visibility vests and take a number of other precautions to alert drivers to their presence.
The crash in Newport News led legislators to extend Virginia's "move over law" which applied to law enforcement personnel and paramedics, to include tow truck drivers, in 2010. The law means drivers have to move to another lane or slow down if they see emergency vehicles or tow trucks on the side of a highway. Sadly the extra protection made little difference in Wednesday's double death.