As motorists ourselves, we and the rest of the driving public here in Maryland can quite often the dangerous situations in which police officers and emergency responders find themselves on a daily basis. While patrolmen, firefighters and EMS personnel immediately come to mind when thinking about roadside car, motorcycle and trucking accidents, it’s easy to forget the sometimes overlooked tow truck driver.
As Baltimore auto, truck and motorcycle accident lawyers, as well as personal injury attorneys, we know that there are dozens of occupations that could be termed hazardous. And while it’s no surprise that high-iron construction workers and electrical linemen live their working lives on the edge, tow truck drivers and other roadside emergency personnel sometimes go unsung.
Over the past few years, police agencies have issuing policy changes to help their officers survive potential highway collisions while making traffic stops, attending to stranded motorists and controlling traffic at automobile and tractor-trailer crash scenes. The tow truck driver, many times on his own, is exposed to a high volume of vehicular traffic just scant feet away and whizzing by at 70mph or more.
It’s not surprising that these individuals make up a percentage of all roadway injuries and fatalities every year, across this state and the nation. Not long ago, a tow truck driver from the Pasadena area was killed by an alleged hit-and-run driver. According to news reports, 38-year-old James Schreiber, Jr. was helping the driver of a sewage hauler along a stretch of Rte 100 just before the Oakwood Rd. exit when he was reportedly hit by a Nissan sport utility vehicle that left the scene without stopping.
Based on police reports, Schreiber was found by Anne Arundel County emergency responders at the site of the accident just after 8am following a report of a serious traffic collision. Arriving an the crash site, police officers found the driver lying on the right-hand shoulder of the roadway. Not long after, Anne Arundel firefighter/EMS personnel attended to Schreiber but apparently could not do anything for him. He was pronounced dead at the scene.
According to eye witness accounts, the victim was standing outside of his vehicle prepping the sewage hauler for towing when he was struck by a burgundy-colored red Nissan Pathfinder at least 15 to 20 years old with silver accents. According to police, eye witnesses stated that the driver of the SUV initially slowed or stopped following the collision, but then apparently continued on, traveling eastbound without the driver getting out of the truck or attempting to render aid to the fallen man.
Police based their description on witness accounts, which described the hit-and-run driver as a man in his early- to mid-30s, thin build and possibly a crew cut or short brown hair. Police believed that the suspect’s vehicle likely received damage to its front-right fender and headlamp assembly. Other information provided by police indicates that the SUV’s windshield was likely smashed as a result of the impact, plus the vehicle would also be missing a turn signal, sideview mirror and hubcap on the right-hand side.
Police Release Photo of SUV Involved in Fatal Route 100 Hit-and-Run, Patch.com, August 31, 2011
UPDATED: Tow Truck Driver’s Name Released in Hit-and-Run Accident, Patch.com, August 24, 2011