AAA service worker watches on in horror as motorist dies roadside

Posted at 11:34 PM, Sep 27, 2013
and last updated 2013-09-29 11:06:18-04

HANOVER COUNTY, Va (WTVR)- Just out of his truck, a AAA roadside service worker was talking with a motorist who had called for service when tragedy struck.

A blue tarp covered the back end of a Toyota Highlander and the AAA truck: the driver of the Highlander, 71-year-old Bobby G. Hadaway of Leland, N.C., was pinned underneath and was pronounced dead on the scene.  This was on Interstate-295 southbound near the Mechanicsville exit in Hanover County.

State troopers tell CBS-6 that driver that Hadaway and his wife, Carolyn, 71, had broken down and the AAA driver had just pulled up to help.

Hadaway was outside his SUV talking to the AAA rep when a Toyota Camry with children onboard veered left, side-swiping the Highlander at full speed, and leaving a trail of debris.

"It's horrible and tragic-our prayers go out to everyone involved,” said AAA spokeswoman Martha Meade.  She says with so many more distractions nowadays such accidents are becoming far more common.

"AAA lobbied years ago to have tow trucks included into the “Slow down and move over” law which now includes every emergency vehicle with flashing lights," Meade said.

Tow truck driver Darren Tocarchick is living proof that dangerous situations can happen in just a split second.  Almost two years ago, just off I-295, he was almost killed.

"It was 5:30 or 6 in the morning,"  Tocarchick said.  “The SUV I was hooking up was hit by a driver.  It turned and threw me over the guard rail."

Tocarchick remembers flying down a 90-foot embankment like it was yesterday.

"It was not so much about me, but you think about what you leave behind:  in my case my wife, four kids, brothers and sisters."

As of Friday, another mechanic will live with the haunting moments of watching someone he was trying to help, die right next to him.

The Camry driver was airlifted to VCU Medical Center.  The six year-old boy and three-year-old girl in that car were all okay.

Meade says the interstates are so dangerous now they ask motorists, if at all possible, to limp your car to the nearest exit, even if it's at the expense of messing up axles or rims.

State police say charges are pending against the Camry driver.