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Road Ranger Seriously Injured After Stopping To Help Driver "UPDATED" (FL)

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Two people were seriously injured Sunday when a State Farm road assistance tow truck and a stranded vehicle were involved in a fiery crash.

 

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ST. PETERSBURG, FL — Two people were seriously injured Sunday when a State Farm road assistance tow truck and a stranded vehicle were involved in a fiery crash.

 

According to the Florida Highway Patrol, at 7:40 p.m., a Cadillac SUV driven by Sarah Lam, 32, of Bradenton, ran out of gas. Lam pulled over to the outside northbound shoulder of the Howard Frankland Bridge, where State Farm road ranger Adam Lopez, 29, of Tampa, spotted her. Lopez slowed down and entered the outside shoulder to assist Lam.

 

A tractor-trailer truck headed north abruptly changed lanes to go around Lam and Lopez, cutting off a Chevrolet sedan driven by Alvaro A. Vizcarra, 40, of St. Petersburg. To avoid a collision with the tractor-trailer truck, Vizcarra was forced to veer his car onto the outside shoulder where he struck the rear of the State Farm tow trucks, forcing the truck into the rear of Lam's Cadillac.

 

The Cadillac and tow truck truck burst into flames. Lopez and a passenger in Lam's SUV, Ngung Thi Nguyen, 67, of Bradenton, were taken to Tampa General Hospital with serious injuries.

 

The tractor-trailer truck continued on. Anyone with information on the truck is asked to call the FHP at 813-559-1800.

 

RESOURCE LINK

 

UPDATED:

 

TAMPA (WFLA) – A Road Ranger is recovering after getting hit while on the way to help other motorists. That’s prompting his fellow Road Rangers, the people who make a living saving stranded and broken down drivers, to issue a stern warning:

 

Drivers need to pay attention!

 

For Sergio Carrera, a day on the job for him is a bad day on the road for many of us.

 

“Not only did I change her tire and give her gas, I actually sat there 15-20 minutes listening to her tell me everything that happened in her day,” says Carrera.

 

Part of the Road Rangers corp Carerra travels the highways looking for distress, but like all heroes, his job is not without danger.

 

Sunday night Road Ranger Adam Lopez pulled over to help a couple out of gas on the Howard Frankland Bridge.

A car swerved onto the shoulder and hit Lopez’s emergency vehicle and the couple’s car in front of him; both of those vehicles caught fire and backed traffic up as firefighters and paramedics responded.

 

“It freaked me out because I had just seen him an hour and a half earlier. The first thing that came to my mind was my friend who was killed on the Howard Franklin Bridge,” says Carrera about another friend that died while on the job.

 

These Road Rangers plead with people to pay attention to their surroundings and respect the move over law.

 

“Like I say those three seconds, four seconds that you don’t slow down for that trooper, that road ranger, that paramedic, or for that tow truck driver, it’s a few seconds that either destroys your life or many lives,” says Carrera.

 

As for Adam Lopez, the Road Ranger hurt in the weekend crash, is back home recovering. He has a broken jaw and it may be a month before he’s fully recovered.

 

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I carefully re-read the injured Ranger's comment that said, “Not only did I change her tire and give her gas, I actually sat there 15-20 minutes listening to her tell me everything that happened in her day,” Not to second guess the Ranger injured in this incident, but his total time on-scene could have been longer than 30 to 45-minutes to change the tire, add the gas, and then listen to the motorist's story about her day. If there are any lessons to be learned here ... when working in a proverbial war zone, it's really important that towers limit their exposure by completing their roadside task and getting off the should in as little time as necessary. Accordingly, California Freeway Service Patrol guidelines under Motorist Contacts, it suggest, "If a vehicle cannot be repaired within 10 minutes, the operator shall inform the motorist that the vehicle can be towed to a designated drop location where he or she can summon additional assistance." I interpret this statement to indicate that towers should recognize the exposure danger and move the vehicle to a safer location that's anywhere other than the shoulder of the highway. I'm thankful the tower wasn't killed.    R.


Randall C. Resch

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When seconds count every minute the service provider is on scene increases the risk. Not only is Risk Management and Traffic Safety lacking in the Towing Industry you may find that it is lacking in some law enforcement agencies as well. Generally you'll find that the State Department of Transportation Agencies do a much better job in these areas. That can be related to this recent news story.

 

 

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... to that ... I personally believe that NO service calls are performed on highway shoulders, but quickly removed off-the-highway to a designated drop location of someplace off the highway. Highway response should not include the newly hired or inexperienced tow operator who is not trained in the dangers of highway response (minimally with TIM training).     R.

 


Randall C. Resch

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Dave Lambert preached this with his "Tow First to Save Lives" program. However, since Dave has passed the progress he was making has all but diminished. I see more road service vehicles and tow trucks changing tires in Hazardous Locations then ever before. What's it going to take for companies to change their service policies. What's it going to take for Motor Clubs to incentivize them to do the right thing. Insurance Companies may get involved at some point, but the more I research this the more disgusted I become.

 

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On 8/19/2019 at 4:57 PM, rreschran said:

Not only did I change her tire and give her gas, I actually sat there 15-20 minutes listening to her tell me everything that happened in her day

Won't happen, if I have to I will be rude and say we are done let's go!!!


George - - Moore's BP
We'll see you on down the road

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