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Hit-and-Run Crash Leaves 1 Man Dead

Accident: Police are searching for a truck driver who struck a motorist on the shoulder of the 118 Freeway.


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

The victim was fatally injured while changing a tire on his car at 11 a.m. on the right shoulder of the eastbound 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. No other vehicles were involved in the accident, and no other injuries were reported.

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

Investigators were searching for the driver of the red and white 18-wheeler late Tuesday, Whitmer said.

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

"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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