There is an old saying that “no good deed goes unpunished.” In this rather cynical view, going out of one’s way to help someone else is just asking for trouble. While likely not completely true, as with most old adages, one can often find isolated examples that support the principle. Unfortunately for a would-be “good Samaritan” on Interstate 90 in Washington, this old saying turned out to be all too accurate.
According to police, a 47-year-old man who was travelling the I-90 highway west about a half-hour before midnight noticed a Toyota Camry pulled onto the shoulder that appeared to be having some sort of mechanical trouble. The man pulled over and went to investigate to see if he could render aid. Discovering a woman and her 11-year-old child in the car, the man set about working on some unidentified problem with the Camry, lying on the ground to do so.
Minutes later, a Nissan pickup truck careened off the highway, running over the good Samaritan and landing a sideways, glancing blow on the Camry. The Nissan then continued forward, eventually crashing, out-of-control, into a roadside ditch. The driver of that vehicle was a 42-year-old male, who police suspect was intoxicated. He was taken into custody on suspicion of vehicular homicide, as the man attempting to fix the Camry was found dead at the scene. The Camry’s driver was taken to the hospital for treatment, while her child was reportedly unharmed.
While one does not usually expect pedestrian accidents to occur on interstates, emergency situations can occur anywhere. Regardless of the wisdom of lying on the ground at night on a highway shoulder, the good Samaritan in the above case may have been the victim of the Nissan driver’s negligence. If the 42-year-old was, in fact, drunk, he may well be liable in a civil lawsuit for wrongful death, above and beyond any criminal sanctions he might be facing.
Source: komonews.com, “Man struck, killed by suspected DUI driver while helping woman along I-90,” June 21, 2017