Don’t become the next victim: Stay inside disabled car on highway
Four people have been killed in the past two months after standing outside their disabled vehicles on New Jersey highways.
State Police said the best advice is to stay in the car if you find yourself having to pull over to the shoulder.
The latest incident was 1:30 a.m. Thursday when Edward Phillips, 41, of Middle Township, was struck by a Chevrolet Suburban on Route 55 in Elk after he got out of his car on the left shoulder, according to State Police Trooper Charles Marchan. Phillips was pronounced dead at the scene.
The driver of the SUV, Jeffrey Bryant, 61, of Vineland, remained at the crash, according to Marchan, who said no charges have been filed.
On Sunday, Bergenfield 22-year-olds Juan Martinez and Sabrina Acosta were killed by a car that flipped about 11:15 p.m. on Route 80 West in Paterson after they got out of their Toyota Camry on the left shoulder.
Dominic F. Denegri, 29, of Boonton, was killed after being struck twice about 3:30 a.m. Feb. 10 when he got out of his car parked on Route 78 West near Exit 55 in Newark.
Marchan, a spokesman for the State Police, said staying inside your vehicle if you have to pull over is the safest thing to do.
"In instances where someone believes staying in their vehicle poses a greater risk of injury, we suggest exiting your vehicle and moving to a safe location out of the roadway," Marchan said.
He said drivers should also turn on their hazard lights and call 911.
New Jersey's Move Over Law requires drivers to avoid disabled vehicles by slowing down or changing lanes.
Department of Transportation Safety Service Patrol vehicles operate Monday through Friday from 4:30 a.m. to 8 p.m., and on weekends and holidays from 10:30 a.m. to 8 p.m. Every year, they help 70,000 people by changing flat tires, towing vehicles and fueling empty gas tanks.
They operate on portions Routes 76, 78, 80, 95, 195, 280, 287, 295, 440 and 676. It's also on state highways 29, 42 and 55. They can be summoned by 911 dispatchers.