TOWSON, MD (Thursday, November 7, 2019) –– Maryland State Police are investigating a fatal hit-and-run crash that occurred late Wednesday evening in Prince George’s County involving a tow truck driver who was assisting a AAA member in the area of southbound Branch Avenue and Coventry Way in Temple Hills, Maryland.Police have not yet publicly identified the driver.
“We are saddened to learn of the tragic loss of a tow truck driver contracted by AAA, who was assisting a member late last night,” said Ragina Cooper Ali, spokesperson for AAA Mid-Atlantic.“Our hearts go out to his family.”
“This driver, like all tow truck drivers, put themselves at risk every day to help people who are broken down.This tragic death highlights the dangers roadside workers face on the job daily and distinctly illustrates why Slow Down, Move Over laws are critical to safety,” said Ali.
“Emergency roadside assistance is at the core of AAA’s traffic safety mission,” Ali said. “To ensure safety, the best thing drivers can do is move over and away from vehicles and people on the side of the road.Whether someone is fixing a tire or working on a tow, move away and change lanes to create safe space around them. Their lives are on your shoulders.”
An average of 23 tow operators are killed at the roadside every year, with one service provider on average being killed on the job roadside every other week. A contributing factor to this tragic statistic is that fewer than 30% of Americans even know about move over laws.
Maryland’s “Move Over” law requires motorists traveling on multi-lane roadways to, when practical and safe, to merge away from a vehicle working on the side of the highway to provide an empty travel lane of safety for the worker. If not practical, either due to traffic volume or road design, the motorist must slow significantly below the posted speed limit while passing the emergency personnel.
The original Maryland Move Over law went into effect in 2010 and was expanded from police cars to also include tow trucks, fire trucks and medical and rescue trucks in 2014. On Oct. 1, 2018, the law expanded again to transportation, service and utility vehicles, as well as waste and recycling trucks, with yellow or amber flashing lights or signal devices.
Maryland State Police Statistics
According to the Maryland State Police, in 2014, “Troopers went from issuing 5,408 citations and 12,179 warnings to 1,349 citations and 5,677 warnings in 2018 for Move Over violations. Through Sept. 26, 2019, troopers have issued 1,347 citations and 4,979 warnings for similar violations.” In addition, statewide, “more than 17,000 motorists have received citations or warnings from all police for violating the “Move Over” law in Maryland since the law expanded in October 2018. From 2014 to 2018, more than 3,400 people were injured, and 46 people were killed in work zone crashes in Maryland.” For more information on the “Move Over” law, visitwww.roads.maryland.gov.
The Maryland State Police Crash Team is continuing the investigation into this incident. Anyone with information on this case is asked to contact the Forestville Barrack at 301-568-8101. The Maryland State Police Contact is Ron Snyder, Office of Media Communications, 410-653-4236.
The original news release from State Police issued at approximately 1:15 a.m. is below.
Maryland State Police Investigating Fatal Hit-And-Run Pedestrian Crash InPrince George’s County
November 7, 2019
(TEMPLE HILLS, MD) – Maryland State Police are investigating a fatal hit-and-run crash that occurred late Wednesday evening in Prince George’s County.
Shortly after 10:30 p.m. on Wednesday, troopers from the Maryland State Police Forestville Barrack responded on a report of a pedestrian crash in the area of southbound Branch Avenue and Coventry Way in Temple Hills, Maryland. According to a preliminary investigation, the victim, a 63-year-old male tow truck operator, had arrived on the scene to assist with a disabled vehicle in the shoulder of the road.
Investigators believe that the victim was struck as he walked back toward his truck while in the process of loading the disabled vehicle. The truck and the disabled vehicle were both in the shoulder at the time of the crash.
The victim, whose identity is being withheld pending notification of next of kin, was declared deceased at the scene by Prince George’s County Fire/EMS Department personnel. The Maryland Department of Transportation State Highway Administration assisted with road closures in the area of the crash.
The Maryland State Police Crash Team is continuing the investigation into this incident. Anyone with information on this case is asked to contact the Forestville Barrack at 301- 568-8101.
CONTACT:Ron Snyder, Office of Media Communications, 410-653-4236 or through the HQ duty officer at 410-653-4200