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Mark Bello
Mark Bello
Attorney • (877) 377-7848

When Your Vehicle Becomes Disabled, Think Safety First

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A 20-year old male driver and an 18-year-old female passenger were killed, and two others injured in a crash that shut down the Long Island Expressway for more than six hours.

According to police, the trouble began when a 2004 BMW carrying the four people became disabled in the High Occupancy Vehicle (HOV) lane. After all four got out of the car, the driver of a GMC Yukon struck the BMW sending the two victims over the divider. The driver was pronounced dead at the scene; the woman was taken to the hospital, where she also died. The other two passengers, an 18-year-old woman and 19-year-old man, were treated at the hospital for injuries. The driver of the GMC – an off-duty NYPD officer – also suffered minor injuries. The investigation is ongoing, but police said heavy rain and limited lighting may have been factors. No one involved is suspected of driving under the influence.

This fatal incident is an important reminder what to do if your vehicle becomes disabled on the road.

  • Try to get the vehicle completely off the roadway. Move your car as far onto the shoulder as possible.
  • Stay in your car and keep your seat belt on in case your car is hit.
  • If it is unsafe to stay in the car for any reason, including being stopped in the main flow of traffic or car fire, and you choose to get out of the car, stay away from oncoming traffic and at least 20 feet from the vehicle.
  • Assume drivers do not see you. Never turn your back to traffic.
  • Turn on your hazard lights to alert other drivers.
  • Avoid standing behind or between cars.
  • Never try to run across a highway.
  • Once you are safe, call 911and remain off the road until police arrive.
  • Stay at the scene of the accident until the police arrive.

In addition to these safety tips, if you in a crash, remember:

If you are injured, it is best to stay in your car until medical help arrives. If you get out of the vehicle, try to exit on the opposite side of passing traffic, even if that means crawling to the passenger side of the car. Seek a safe area off the side of the road.

Exchange the following information at a safe location off the roadway: Name, address, phone number and insurance data of all parties involved; the make, model, color, and model year of any vehicles involved; and names and contact information of witnesses.

Mark Bello is the CEO and General Counsel of Lawsuit Financial Corporation, a pro-justice lawsuit funding company.