A 38-year-old AAA contractor worker was killed by a passing vehicle late Thursday morning while on a call to change a driver’s tires on eastbound Interstate 70 in Howard County, Maryland State Police said in an afternoon news release.
Waterloo Barrack troopers responded to a call shortly before 11:30 a.m. for a crash just east of Marriottsville Road, according to the release. The worker, Muhammad Shehzad, 38, of Ellicott City, was pronounced dead at the scene.
Shehzad was changing tires on the rear driver’s side of a black Mercedes-Benz 350ML on the right shoulder, according to the release, when he started to walk back to his white Chevrolet Express road service van. He was then hit by a black Chevrolet Colorado driven by Peter Blakemore, police said.
The Mercedes and the Express were parked on the right shoulder when police arrived. The Colorado was 100 feet off the right side of the roadway in a wooded area, the release noted.
Investigators believe the Chevrolet Colorado crossed over the white edge line and into the shoulder portion of the highway when he struck the AAA vehicle and Shehzad, the release said. The Colorado continued to travel off of the right side of the highway, up and over an embankment and into a tree where the vehicle came to rest.
Blakemore, 77, of Front Royal, Virginia, the sole occupant of the Colorado, was transported to Shock Trauma.
“[Muhammad Shehzad’s] tragic death highlights the dangers roadside workers face daily. As drivers, we all need an awareness of those working on the side of the road and act to create a safe space for them by moving over a lane — when we safely can — to prevent possible tragedies,” said Richard G. Towner, Jr., vice president of Roadside Assistance & Approved Auto Repair, AAA Club Alliance.
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Shehzad was wearing reflective clothing and had his hazard lamps and emergency lights on when the accident happened, police said. The crash is under investigation. Charges are pending the outcome of the investigation, the department said.