In light of two recent accidents in the dark along I-37, 3News decided to spend some time with Department of Public Safety troopers Wednesday to find out what motorists can do if they find themselves stranded on a busy highway.
For the second time in less than a week, a stranded motorist has been struck and killed along I-37 in Live Oak County by an oncoming driver that could not see the victim in the dark. The first happened early Sunday morning and claimed the life of 35-year-old Brandi Leigh Prevett of Corpus Christi. The second happened Tuesday night and claimed the life of 46-year-old Joaquin Orellana Rivera of El Salvador.
Troopers said summer is traditionally a big travel time, and before you hit the road you may want to make sure you're properly equipped for an emergency.
"There's going to be different situations to where a vehicle or a motorist can become disabled," DPS Sgt. Nathan Brandley said.
Brandley said it is especially dangerous when towing multiple vehicles, as Rivera was when he was struck.
"Depending on where you're at, whether it's the interstate, an FM road or any type of road, obviously the best thing is to get over as far as you can," Brandley said.
If you do find yourself stalled in the middle of the road, even if you aren't able to move to the shoulder --
"Travel with some extra battery operated flashers, just in case your battery juice goes out on you and you don't have enough to use your emergency flashers," Brandley said.
He also suggested investing in reflective triangles.
"Put them out along the roadway back further from your car, that way at least with oncoming headlights that way it will illuminate the triangles and someone could possibly see that there might be somebdy on the side of the road," Brandley said.
If you need extra help, state troopers recommend looking in your wallet.
"There's that number on the back of your driver's license that you can use for a Stranded Motorists Hotline, but again, that's not a free service," Brandley said.
The number will put you in touch with the local police department who will dispatch an officer or trooper to your location.
"Conciously be always looking and aware of your surroundings, even when it's dark at night," Brandley said.