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Highway Deaths of Four Teens Shows Dangers of Moving Stalled Vehicles

Jason Reese

Four Teens Killed on Indiana Highway While Attempting to Move Stalled Vehicle

Several Hoosier news outlets recently reported a terribly awful traffic tragedy involving four teenagers who were killed after a group of young passengers attempted to push a broken-down SUV along an Indiana highway. The juveniles were struck by another vehicle at 11 p.m. after traveling to a slumber party, just a short drive away from the scene of the crash. A total of nine children were involved in the accident and ranged in ages 12-16. A 37-year-old woman was driving the broken-down Chevrolet Suburban in Cortland on State Route 258, about 60 miles north of Louisville.

The Jackson County Sheriff’s Department reported the group of children got out to push the SUV about a block from their destination when they were hit behind by another vehicle driven by 24-year-old. Two 14-year-olds and a 15-year old died at the scene and 16-year-old died on arrival to Methodist Hospital. Four other juveniles were struck and injured.

The team at Wagner Reese is thinking of all the family and friends involved in this tragedy and want to take the opportunity to remind all motorists what to do if their vehicle should stop working while driving on any Indiana roadway.

What to Do If Your Vehicle Breaks on The Road

Road safety officials agree, the best thing to do if your vehicle is breaking while driving on any road is to make your best attempt to pull over to the safest place possible and call to get help. Getting out of a vehicle and placing yourself or others in a line of traffic involves major accident and injury risks or even death. Instead of attempting to move a stalled vehicle, follow these five easy safety rules for assisting yourself and passengers.

  1. Upon noticing vehicle trouble or a check engine light signal, don’t keep driving. Instead, pull completely off the road, preferably 100 feet away or more, until you are in a safe zone. Next, turn on your emergency flashers.
  2. Dial 911 and begin assessing the situation from where you are safely parked, off of the freeway, away from moving traffic. Make sure you know the location including any freeway on and off ramp information and how many people are traveling with you so help can easily locate everyone involved. From there, follow the operator’s cues.
  3. If your vehicle is stalled while in traffic, shift into neutral and allow your vehicle’s lasting momentum to steer you off the road. If you must get out of your vehicle, worry about your safety not your car or truck’s. Never try to cross a highway on foot unless you are in an absolute emergency to exit your car in event of a fire, while on a bridge, or having a medical emergency. Instead, once your vehicle has come to a complete stop, secure your seatbelt and turn on hazard lights and call for help.
  4. Safety officials will not want you to move any passengers out of the vehicle unless he or she is in immediate danger. So, this means it is in everyone’s best interest to be in the safest place, inside the vehicle and parked in the safety zone, 100 feet or more away, waiting for emergency responders.
  5. If you have dialed 911, and are told to get out of your vehicle, remember to always exit with extreme caution, hopefully to the right and move slowly while watching for passing traffic. Do not ever step into traffic or put your own life at risk if you feel it is unsafe.

Emergency situations such as this can feel scary but knowing what to do and avoiding further complications evolved from stepping into traffic will be life-saving.

Experienced Car Accident Attorneys in Indiana

The attorneys at Wagner Reese have more than 50 years of experience in representing people who have been through a difficult injury and accident experience. If you would like legal advice on an accident, our attorneys will review your information after you call us at (888) 204-8440 to schedule a free consultation. You can also share additional details with us by submitting our online form.


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