Man Struck and Injured on Patroon Island Bridge After Exiting Vehicle on Roadway
A bizarre accident on the Patroon Island Bridge in Albany occurred last Tuesday, February 10th, and conflicting stories between an eyewitness and the police accident reconstructionists leave some confusion about how the man came to be hit.
By one eyewitness account, the man’s vehicle had struck a guardrail on the bridge, leading him to stop and get out of his vehicle to inspect the damage. The man then realized that he was in danger of being hit by oncoming cars in the morning rush hour traffic, so he leapt over the guardrail and then either jumped or fell off the bridge, landing in a snow bank fifty feet below. The man then climbed back up the hill to get back to his car, and it was then that he was struck by a tractor-trailer moving at about 25 miles per hour.
The official version of the accident according to the police is somewhat different. State police, who closed the westbound lanes of the bridge and spent hours investigating and reconstructing the accident, say the man got a flat tire and then for some unknown reason crossed two lanes of traffic, where he was then stuck by the tractor-trailer. At no time, they say, did he ever jump or fall off the bridge.
In any event, the man was transported to the hospital where he was last reported in stable condition, although he may have suffered head and chest injuries and possibly a broken arm.
Stay Safe, Even in an Emergency
It is never wise to stop your vehicle on the roadway when you can avoid it, and a bridge can be an especially dangerous place to stop. If you simply must stop your vehicle immediately, pull over as far as possible to the right, and try to make sure your car is completely off the roadway. Also, make sure that your hazards or emergency lights are turned on. Stay in your vehicle, or exit from the passenger side. If you must exit from the driver’s side, check to make sure you have an opportunity clear of oncoming traffic, and then remove yourself to a safe location as soon as possible.
Emergency situations do occur on the road, and the duty of other drivers to drive safely includes the duty to watch out for other vehicles or pedestrians who may be dealing with an emergency. If you were doing all you could to manage the situation safely but were nonetheless struck by a negligent or distracted driver, you should talk to an experienced auto accident attorney about your rights to receive compensation for your injuries. In Ulster County and the Hudson Valley, contact Basch & Keegan in Kingston for immediate assistance.