Friends and family members were shocked and saddened by a recent fatal crash on the West Loop that claimed the life of a female motorist.
Early news reports indicate that the 29-year-old woman was headed south on the West Loop as it nears the interchange with the Southwest Freeway. Her vehicle had car trouble, and came to a stop. Her hood was up as she reportedly was standing outside of the vehicle to look at her engine compartment. Accounts further indicate that she was in a traffic lane, and that her flashers were not activated. One approaching vehicle had to swerve suddenly to miss her; a Lexus behind it did not have time to react. That driver hit the woman’s stalled car, and knocked her over the freeway guardrail, and she fell 40 feet to her death.
Some have speculated that the battery on the woman’s car may not have worked. If so, that might account for the lack of flashers.
In any event, this terrible crash demonstrates again the extreme risks of highway traffic around disabled vehicles. Certainly, if at all possible, a motorist should pull his car far off of the roadway, and even past the shoulder. In addition, whenever possible, the driver should activate his flashers, put up the hood, and even set out markers if they are available. Moreover, upon getting out of his car, the driver needs to position himself in a safe location, away from traffic.
It is virtually impossible to be too careful when a vehicle becomes disabled on a highway or freeway. Drivers must protect both themselves as well as fellow motorists who are approaching on the highway, perhaps unaware of the upcoming hazard. In this case, news accounts report that the driver of the vehicle who hit the woman’s car was not seriously injured, but this wreck could easily have claimed a second life. It is absolutely essential that we warn others when our vehicles break down on the road.