Tow Truck Operator Fatally Injured When Struck by a Box Truck While Assisting a Motorist – Massachusetts
Massachusetts Case Report: 15MA007
Release Date: January 4, 2017
On February 11, 2015 a 22-year-old male tow truck operator (victim) employed by a motor vehicle service center was fatally injured while assisting a motorist with a flat tire on a highway. The victim positioned his flatbed tow truck on the highway shoulder in front of the car. While standing near the tow truck’s driver side controls, the victim was struck by a passing box truck. A call was immediately place for emergency medical services (EMS). EMS and state police arrived within minutes. The victim was pronounced dead at the incident location.
Contributing factors identified in this investigation were the narrow highway shoulder, the consequent need to work on the side of the tow truck closest to passing traffic, the motorist stopping on the narrow shoulder and not continuing to drive to a safer location to stop, and the box truck driver not moving over one lane or slowing down while passing a stopped recovery vehicle with lights flashing as required by Massachusetts state law.