HOWARD COUNTY, Md. — Muhammad Shehzad, a 38-year-old AAA worker, was hit and killed by a vehicle Oct. 28 while finishing a service call on eastbound I-70 in Marriottsville.
Maryland state troopers said a pickup truck hit Shehzad and his work van at about 11:30 a.m., just after he finished changing a flat tire on a vehicle on the side of the road, according to a local news report. Shehzad was wearing a safety vest and his emergency lights were flashing when the accident occurred.
Shehzad’s truck ended up down an embankment, about 100 feet off the side of the road. A spokesperson for the Maryland State Police said investigators are not sure what factors contributed to the crash and are looking into circumstances such as speed and distraction, though the accident could have involved other less controllable factors like a medical condition.
The driver of the pickup was taken to shock trauma after the crash. Charges are pending against him, as the crash investigation is ongoing.
No additional information about the accident was immediately available.
COMMENTARY ON MUHAMMAD SHEHZAD'S ACCIDENT
I am saddened to learn that Mr. Shehzad’s life was suddenly and unexpectedly cut short in such a tragic manner. Here was a man doing his job, helping a motorist, when he was struck and killed.
As you might expect, the fatality rate in the roadside assistance industry is very high when compared to all other industries. One study indicates the on-the-job risk is close to 15 times higher than other sectors. This is a tragic statistic, considering this type of accident is usually preventable. Motorists need only to slow down and move over when approaching a stopped vehicle on the roadside. We do not know why the driver of the pickup failed to observe these simple courtesies. As the report suggests, details are too minimal at this time to speculate the exact cause of the mishap; a thorough investigation will be needed to make that determination.
I have worked on numerous roadside assistance accident cases over the last 30 years in my profession as a personal injury attorney, having represented many families in very similar circumstances. From a legal standpoint, it is important to consider all variables leading to this outcome. For instance, what caused the original tire failure? Answers to these questions will only be answered through a detailed investigation.
I extend my heartfelt condolences to Mr. Shehzad’s family and loved ones.
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