A man and a girl were killed on Interstate Highway 880 in Oakland earlier this month when a white box truck, which had been sitting disabled on the right shoulder, was hit by a black BMW that had been speeding north before veering off the road, striking the truck, according to authorities.
Immediately after striking the truck, the BMW re-entered the freeway, and was then subsequently struck by a Ford F-250, said the California Highway Patrol.
A man and girl were sitting in the back of the BMW at the time of the crash, and were both killed as a result. Officials say it did not appear that the man was properly restrained inside the vehicle. The driver, another child, and another passenger, were all transported to local hospitals with serious personal injuries. Investigators do not believe drugs or alcohol were a factor.
This crash shows the danger of sitting on the side of the road, even if your vehicle is disabled. Ask any CHP officer and they will tell you not to just sit on the shoulder with your car, but to get to a less dangerous place as soon as it is safe to do so. And this story also points out the hazard of target fixation. If there are no alcohol or drugs involved, then how does this BMW driver strike a vehicle that is not on the actual roadway? Because drivers have a tendency not to look at the dots delineating the roadway, but at the taillights of other vehicles that they think are still traveling down the roadway. I have personally handled so many cases where tragedy has struck simply because one driver has fixated on the taillights of a stopped vehicle. We must always watch for all traffic, but we must also always remain aware of the configuration of the roadway itself and not just follow taillights.