By Gabriel Roxas


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CARROLLTON (CBS11)  – A deadly crash that started with a man changing a flat tire has public safety officials reminding drivers that help is available 24/7 on our highways.

The Highway Patrol says a man stopped on or near the right shoulder of the southbound lanes of the President George Bush Turnpike just south of Belt Line Road early Wednesday. He was changing a flat tire when an SUV hit his car from behind, killing him. The impact knocked the car well into the southbound lanes. That’s where it was hit a second time by another car.

The NTTA points to the crash as an example of why they are urging drivers who find themselves in a similar situation to remain in their vehicles and call them for help instead of trying to fix the problem themselves.

Depending on where you break down, a number of free courtesy services are available.

If you’re not sure who to call, the NTTA says you should feel free to call 911.

“I think it’s really imperative that people realize if they’re on the side of the road stranded, that’s an emergency situation. 911 does apply,” NTTA spokesperson Michael Rey said.

Wednesday’s deadly crash is the latest collision the NTTA says might have been prevented if drivers had contacted them. The NTTA has a fleet of trucks that can help with many of the problems that leave drivers stranded, but the most important thing is preventing you and other drivers from getting hurt.

The Texas Department of Public Safety says if you break down on a state highway, you can call the number on the back of your drivers’ license and either a state trooper or a county sheriff courtesy patrol can come help you.

Changing your tire is one of several things the NTTA will do for you for free if you find yourself stranded on one of the tollways. They can also put water in your radiator if your engine overheats. They’ll even give you some gas to get to the closest gas station if your tank is empty. They won’t tow your car to the nearest service station, but they will move it out of the way to prevent other vehicles from hitting it if you have to leave it where it is.

These are the most common services stranded drivers need. But the most important thing the NTTA does as soon as they get to you is park their large truck between you and oncoming traffic to act as a barrier. That’s what makes it safer for one of their drivers to change your tire for you instead of you trying to do it by yourself while your back is turned to traffic.

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