A tow truck driver who was helping a stranded motorist was apparently struck and killed by another vehicle on Dec. 1 in Wilson County. According to authorities, the crash happened on Interstate 95 in the southbound lanes near Interstate 795.
Another man who had been driving a car south in the left lane apparently signaled right. After changing lanes, the man apparently continued on into the emergency strip where the tow truck driver was stopped with a broken-down car. The second man first allegedly struck the broken down car and then the rear of the tow truck. Losing control, the second man then allegedly drove his car into the tow truck driver as he stood outside next to his driver’s side door.
The force of the collision reportedly threw the tow truck driver across the southbound lanes of traffic. He died of the injuries he suffered in the collision. The other man was treated at Wilson Medical Center for minor injuries before being released. Law enforcement authorities then arrested him, charging him with a felony failure to move over, misdemeanor accident causing death and careless and reckless driving. After posting a $5,000 bond, he was released pending disposition of his charges.
In North Carolina, the state’s Move Over law applies to tow truck drivers in addition to law enforcement officials. Drivers are supposed to move over when they spot a tow truck driver assisting other motorists on the road. When a driver dies as a result of a driver who fails to follow the move-over law, the driver may be charged criminally. Additionally, the family of the wrongfully killed tow truck driver may be able to hold the negligent driver liable for his or her negligence in causing the collision by filing a wrongful death lawsuit against him or her.