A man was struck and killed by an oncoming SUV at approximately 3:30 a.m. on the Gulf Freeway near the Clear Lake Boulevard exit according to a Houston Police report. 36-year-old, Florencio Gutierrez and his wife broke down in their green Toyota Tercel and were disabled on the southbound side of the Freeway on the shoulder. Gutierrez and his wife were trying to push the vehicle when the driver of a Chevy Tahoe came upon the vehicle and did not see them. The larger vehicle hit Gutierrez and the side of their stalled car, Mrs. Gutierrez, however escaped injury. The driver of the Tahoe, in accordance with aiding and assisting after an accident, stopped and dialed 911. Florencio Gutierrez died at the scene of the accident. No charges are expected to be filed against the driver of the SUV. Breaking down on the side of the road can be very dangerous. Freeway shoulders are generally for emergency use only. It is better to get off the road at a nearby exit or other safe place if you can. You should only stop on such roadways if there is a real emergency. While there was a breakdown in this case, there are some additional safety measures that you can take:
- Get over as far as possible so that you are not blocking traffic.
- Put on your hazard blinkers to let other drivers know that they should approach with caution.
- Dial 911 and let the police know your location so that they can send help as soon as possible.
- Keep your seat belt on while waiting for help to arrive. You can still be seriously injured just sitting in your car on the freeway.
- Do not try to cross the freeway lanes on foot.
- If someone other than law enforcement stops to offer help, roll down your window just a little in order to speak with them. Getting out of your car may put you at another kind of risk and it is best not to take the chance. Thank them for their help and tell them that a call has already been made.
- When law enforcement does arrive, let them know the situation and follow their directions to help keep you and other drivers safe.
Freeway driving can be dangerous. Keeping calm and knowing what to do is important to keep yourself and others from serious injury or worse. If you have been involved in a freeway accident, there can be considerable costs in terms of repairs, medical expenses and even long term pain and suffering. That is where our experienced attorneys come in. Give our offices a call to discuss your case.