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Angeles County | Community News File / Northridge

Man Is Killed While Changing Tire on Freeway

October 21, 1998

A 26-year-old man was struck and killed Tuesday by an 18-wheel truck whose driver did not stop after the accident, authorities said.

The man was killed while changing a tire at 11 a.m. on the shoulder of the eastbound side of the Ronald Reagan Freeway east of Tampa Avenue, said California Highway Patrol Lt. Andrea Whitmer.

"The big-rig swerved onto the shoulder, struck the individual and fled the scene," Whitmer said.

The victim's identity was being withheld until relatives are notified, she said.

Investigators were searching for the driver of the red-and-white truck, she said.

The fatal accident underscores the danger of changing tires on the freeway, Whitmer said, adding that in case of a flat tire, motorists should turn on their hazard lights and slowly drive off the freeway to a well-lighted area.

"Never turn your back to traffic because you can't see the hazard coming at you," she said. "The engine still runs and the wheels still turn when you have a flat. It is better to sacrifice the rims than your life."

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