On Monday, a tow truck driver from Rocky Mount, North Carolina, was killed after being struck by a motorist on I-95, near Wilson. According to WLOS ABC News Channel 13, the incident happened near exit 116. The 44-year-old tow truck driver, Jeffery Allen Rackley, was responding to a family’s call of a broken down van on the interstate. As he was preparing to load the vehicle onto his truck, a motorist ran off the roadway, hit the disabled van and struck Rackley.
Driver Charged with Felony
Very few details have been released about the developing case, but the driver was charged with felony failure to move over, causing serious injury or death, misdemeanor death by motor vehicle and reckless driving. At this time, there’s no word on why the driver left his lane and struck Rackley and the broken down vehicle. The 67-year-old driver, Paul Joseph Dattari, was reportedly released on a $5,000 bond.
Move Over for Safety
In North Carolina, there is a “move over” law, which requires drivers to move over one lane or reduce speed for emergency response vehicles on the side of the highway. This includes public service vehicles with amber lights too. Anytime a motorist is broken down on the side of the road, whether or not first responders or tow trucks are on the scene, it’s a good idea to move over or slow down. This practice helps to keep vulnerable roadway users who may be outside of their vehicles safe.
Distracted Driving in North Carolina
Although very few details have been released, law enforcement officers may be looking into distracted driving as a potential factor. When a driver leaves his or her lane, it could be due to distracted, impaired or reckless driving. Sometimes, it takes additional investigative efforts to determine if somebody was distracted at the time of the crash, so it’s a good idea to speak with an experienced personal injury lawyer as soon as possible after a fatal accident. A lawyer can stay on top of investigative developments and be an advocate for families after the crash. The team at Davis Law Group, P.A. sends their deepest condolences to the family members and friends of Jeffery Allen Rackley.