It’s a sad fact of life that people die senselessly in car, truck, SUV and motorcycle accidents every year here in Baltimore and across the state. Pedestrians are the most vulnerable, since they are both difficult to see and have little if any protection from a 3,000-pound motor vehicle. Highway workers number as part of this group of individuals killed or maimed each month on Maryland’s roadways.
As a Maryland car accident attorney and personal injury lawyer, I know that many accidents can be prevented. Unfortunately, the statistics speak for themselves and show that severe injuries, such as neck and head trauma, are common in pedestrian crashes. We are never surprised, sadly, that such collisions can result in pedestrian deaths as well.
A recent news story shows how deadly a nighttime traffic accident can be for a lone individual on a dark stretch of highway. According to reports, a highway worker was killed in during a late-night collision, after which the driver of the car fled the scene. Even though Ghassen Sabra had an active warning light on the nearby work truck he was using, the 52-year-old was still struck and killed while doing highway maintenance work late at night in Anne Arundel County.
Based on police reports, Sabra was clipped by a car and left for dead in the center lane of Route 50. An 18-wheel tractor-trailer then ran the man over when the truck’s driver had no time to stop. The accident occurred around midnight in a non-construction zone. This was apparently the first fatal car accident involving a highway worker in Maryland since 2006. Sabra’s untimely death raised to eight the number of highway workers killed over the past five years.
Preliminary investigation by police showed that Sabra was working in the left lane of eastbound U.S. 50, either setting up or removing traffic-counting devices, at the time he was hit. Sabra, who was wearing reflective clothing at the time of the accident, was thrown into an adjacent lane where he was run over by the big rig.
The news article also stated that highway workers nationwide are vulnerable to traffic and that work zones are deadly not only for workers, but also for drivers passing by these zones. Over 700 people were killed in work-zone crashes in 2008, says the article, which says that 90 percent of work-zone fatalities were drivers and passengers in passing traffic.
Ironically, an ambulance headed toward Queen Anne’s County happened upon the accident scene only moments after the semi ran over Sabra. However, the man’s injuries were too severe and he was pronounced dead at the scene. At the time of the article police still did not have any information on the driver who initially hit Sabra then took off.
Highway worker killed in hit, run; BaltimoreSun.com, June 3, 2010