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Accident shows just how dangerous stopping to help can be

When people pass by the scene of an accident on the highway, they always seem to take one of three options: They call 911 using their cell phone, they continue to drive believing that emergency responders are on their way or they pull over to the side of the road to render whatever assistance they can. While this last option is certainly heroic, safety experts warn that it can sometimes serve to make an already dangerous situation that much more unsafe.

To illustrate, consider a tragic truck accident that occurred on a busy stretch of highway in New Jersey's Hunterdon County this past weekend.

According to reports, at roughly 3:20 a.m. last Saturday morning, a semi truck crashed into the center median of the eastbound lanes of Interstate 78 around milepost 10.8. Shortly thereafter, another semi truck saw the accident and stopped his rig on the right shoulder to help his fellow trucker.

Unfortunately, a sedan carrying four people was making its way down the same stretch of road at that time and somehow managed to crash directly into the back of the semi truck that had pulled over onto the shoulder. The sheer force of the head-on collision killed one passenger, and left three others with severe head injuries and internal trauma.

The three surviving accident victims were transported to nearby hospitals, while the two truck drivers suffered no harm in the sudden truck crash. In the meantime, law enforcement officials are still trying to piece together what exactly transpired and have yet to rule anything out.

This tragic truck accident underscores just how dangerous the highway can be in the aftermath of any sort of motor vehicle accident, and how motorists always need to exercise the utmost caution while navigating their way through the chaos and sometimes just let emergency responders do the job they were trained to do.

Source: The Star-Ledger, "One dead, 3 critically injured after Honda slams into tractor-trailer on I-78 in Hunterdon," Seth Augenstein, August 31, 2013

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