A 38-year-old Bakersfield woman was killed and another man suffered major injuries after they stopped on Highway 99 and were struck by a delivery van as they talked to the driver of a big rig. According to an article in the Bakersfield Californian, Tracy Huffman was taken to a local hospital where she died and her fiancé was said to have suffered severe injuries.
The couple reportedly got out of their vehicle after motioning a big rig driver to stop because they saw something dragging under the rear trailer. Officials said the man, who was driving at the time, got out to warn the big rig driver and Huffman followed him. At this time, a delivery van driven by Darren Tolliver of South Pasadena struck the couple. Tolliver took his eyes off the road to pick up a clipboard for just a second when the van veered to the right and sideswiped the big rig striking the man and Huffman.
Officials are reportedly investigating this auto accident. But what a tragedy for this young couple, who according to officials, were engaged to be married. Our hearts and prayers go out to Huffman’s family, especially her fiancé who is now in the hospital with major injuries. It’s even more tragic that all this heartache was caused by a moment’s distraction when the driver of the delivery truck took his eyes off the road to look at his clipboard.
Any distraction, be it cell phones, texting, loading CDs into your CD player, turning around to talk to someone – is not worth it. It’s not worth someone’s life or livelihood. Drivers should keep their eyes on the road all the time.
It is apparent that Tolliver was on the job when he caused this tragic accident, which means he and his employer could be held financially responsible or liable for the auto accident and the loss, damages and injuries caused as a result. This story also sends out a warning call to those who get off their vehicles on the freeway. The freeway is a dangerous place and you never know when something could go wrong. So be careful out there and do not get out of your vehicle unless you absolutely must.