Safety Tips For Stranded Motorists

Monday, October 8th 2007, 4:54 pm
By: News On 6

A terrible accident kills two young people along a busy roadway. It happened just after 9:30 p.m. Sunday on the Broken Arrow Expressway near Garnett. Tulsa Police say a 20-year-old man and an 18-year-old woman were in a car that stalled, likely because it ran out of gas. It was dark and they decided to flag down help, while trying to get help both were hit by two separate cars. There are steps you can take to avoid a similar tragedy. News On 6 anchor Lori Fullbright reports on the safest way to handle a broken down car on the side of the road.

The first driver who hit William Strawn and Elyse Cannon was in a Mercury Sable. That driver told police that Strawn and Cannon stepped into her lane out of nowhere. The second driver, who was behind the wheel of a Honda, also had no warning.

Tulsa Police say Strawn and Cannon had pulled over to the shoulder and turned on their hazards. Someone called police because an officer was headed that way on a stranded motorist call, but before the officer arrived, the young people were dead. The police report says they were trying to flag down help.

"Don't flag down help at night,” said Tulsa Police Sergeant Rick Bondy. “Don't flag down help during the day. If you really need help, if your wife is about to have a baby, I understand, but if you run out of gas, get off the roadway, walk, but be off the roadway or wait for help to come by."

Sergeant Rick Bondy says if you have a flat, drive to the closest parking lot to change it, even if it means buying a new rim.

If you have no choice but to pull over you have two basic options. If there's a grassy area far from the highway go there and wait for help. If there's not, stay in your car for protection and wait for help to arrive. If you stay in your vehicle turn on your hazard lights and the interior lights to make yourself as visible as possible to other motorists. Drivers' reaction time is less than seconds and many of them are distracted.

"Once you're on the shoulder, you think you're fine, that no one will hit you, but even where we are right now, we're in danger of being hit by someone who's text messaging right now or on a cell phone or driving around with their dog," Bondy said.

Tulsa Police say the driver who hit the couple was not speeding and drinking was not a factor. Still, law requires that driver be given a blood test, just to be sure.

Watch the video: Two People Hit, Killed Along Expressway

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10/7/2007 Stranded Motorists Hit, Killed Along Expressway