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2 Good Samaritans killed in car accident on I-40

Most times we drive on the highway, the trip is uneventful and we get to our destination safely. This is not an excuse not to be alert while driving. Safe drivers know to expect the unexpected on North Carolina's highways.

For example, there could be a person standing on the shoulder next to a disabled vehicle. If a passing motorist does not use the level of due care he or she owes others on the road, he or she could hit that person. At highway speeds, serious injury or death are almost inevitable in that form of pedestrian accident.

A North Carolina college student is accused of negligently causing the deaths of two men, after he struck them as they were standing near a tractor-trailer on Interstate 40 in Raleigh. The North Carolina Highway Patrol believes the student was intoxicated and failed to slow down for conditions, causing the crash.

Authorities believe the suspect was going 65 miles per hour, despite the fact that there was snow on the road. A truck spun out in front of him and he braked slightly as he swerved around it.

Meanwhile, a disabled tractor-trailer was stopped on the shoulder. Two men were standing nearby, trying to help the truck driver. The suspect’s car drove into that section of the shoulder and struck the Good Samaritans.

The suspect drove away. At some point, he abandoned his car and fled into a wooded area about 10 miles away. Troopers tracked him down and arrested him there.

How tragic that two people trying to help a motorist in distress were killed by a driver who apparently paid the exact opposite amount of respect for his fellow human beings. Negligent drivers should face the consequences of their actions. This can include both criminal penalties and financial compensation for their victims.

Source: News & Observer, “NC Highway Patrol: Car hit roadside good Samaritans at 60 mph,” Andrew Kenney, Feb. 18, 2014

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