An update to a tragic story in Stockton last month sheds light on what happened with a Good Smartian tried to help another driver on Interstate 5 near Weber Avenue. A car was stalled in the far left lane of Interstate 5. Two people pulled over to help the driver of the stalled vehicle. After several minutes, another vehicle approached the scene but did not stop before striking the stalled vehicle. The stalled vehicle and the other vehicle hit both Good Samaritans who were standing near the center median.

One victim sustained life-threatening injuries and was transported to the hospital for medical care. Authorities believed the other woman had been thrown into the water. The next day, boats from the San Joaquin County Sheriff’s office were used to search the Stockton Channel where the woman was believed to have been through over the freeway bridge railing. Her body was discovered Monday.

Safety Tips for Freeway Accidents and Stalled Vehicles

The above story tragically reminds drivers that we must be very careful if we exit our vehicle on the freeway. Distracted drivers and speeding vehicles are extremely dangerous for anyone who exits their vehicle on the freeway.

The California Driver’s Handbook provides instructions for drivers and others who are involved in an accident on the freeway or in the event of a stalled vehicle. If your vehicle is disabled on the freeway for any reason, the handbook advises that you:

  • Try to pull to the right shoulder if you can do so safely;
  • If you exit the vehicle, you should exit on the side of the vehicle away from traffic (usually the right side of the vehicle);
  • Return to your vehicle as soon as possible after arranging for assistance. Enter the vehicle on the side away from traffic;
  • Fasten your seat belt again; and,
  • Remain inside your vehicle with your seat belt on until help arrives.

The handbook advises that when there is not sufficient room to pull your vehicle safely off the road, such as when there is a guardrail or insufficient shoulder space, that you should exit your vehicle and stay away from the vehicle. Standing next to your vehicle or near your vehicle could be dangerous if another vehicle crashes into your vehicle.  In addition, the handbook suggests using your emergency lights at your discretion depending on the circumstances, but that the blinking lights can also attract drunk drivers.

The California Highway Patrol’s Freeway Service Patrol (FSP) provides emergency assistance to drivers on the freeway at no charge if you:

  • Run out of gas;
  • Have a dead battery;
  • Your tire is flat; and,
  • Need help with refilling the vehicle’s radiator and taping hoses.

You can call 1-800-TELLCHP (835-5247) to request more information or find out if the FSP is available in your area.

Stockton Car Accident Attorneys

Torem & Associates assistance clients throughout Stockton and the surrounding cities and areas. Call (559) 500-5000 or 1-800-954-4444 or use the contact form on our website to schedule a free consultation with a Stockton personal injury lawyer. Our Stockton office is located at 4557 Quail Lakes Drive, Stockton, CA 95207.

Source: “Update: Body of woman hit by car into Stockton water channel discovered.” ABC10. 27 February 2018.