It was a tragic scene early in the morning when a young woman got a flat tire on I-20 in Georgia recently. She had pulled off to the side of the road and had called two male friends to come and help her. It was still more than two hours before the sun came up, but her two friends came to the woman’s aid. As they were changing the rear tire on the driver’s side of the vehicle, however, a pickup truck came by and struck both of the men.

Rather than stop and help the two people he had just hit with his truck, the driver kept going. Police could have still been looking for him, had another driver not witnessed the entire event and followed the pickup until the driver pulled over. Now police can investigate what factors contributed to the crash that seriously injured one of the men and killed the other.

According to reports, the witness was driving behind the pickup truck for some time before the horrific accident and did not notice any strange driving behaviors. But as they approached the car that was stopped on the side of the road, the witness saw the pickup truck drift into the right lane and then into the lane where the two men were changing the tire. The truck hit the two men and then kept going.

In similar accidents, the type of behavior exhibited by the pickup driver is consistent with a drunk, fatigued or distracted driver whose attention is not on the road. Impairment, falling asleep or looking down at a text message frequently results in drivers drifting out of their lanes because they are simply not looking at the road. In the most tragic cases, this results in a serious car accident.

Whether that was the case in this crash or not remains to be seen. But because the witness followed the truck driver and stayed on him until the authorities could get there, police have a good chance at confirming what may have led to the crash and why the driver allegedly failed to stop afterward. Depending on the results of the investigation, the man who was hit and the family of the man who was killed may choose to take legal action against the driver.

Source: The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, “Police ID good Samaritan killed while changing tire on I-20 in DeKalb County,” Feb. 19, 2014