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An unidentified Good Samaritan fell to his death on Wednesday morning, February 6, after stopping to assist the victim of an auto accident. It happened in the early morning hours on a 450-foot-high bridge over Pine Valley Creek, which is located about an hour to the east of San Diego.

The man happened upon a crash involving a Ford F-150, which had crashed into the bridge around 5:13 a.m. The truck had the westbound left lane blocked. While the man and another man driving a different vehicle attempted to render aid to the driver of the Ford F-150, three other cars crashed into the truck. The man ran to the bridge’s southern edge and jumped over the rail to avoid being injured by the crashing vehicles. He fell some 450 feet to this death. Police say that rescuers found the man’s body in the canyon below the Pine Valley Creek Bridge.

This story underscores the need for caution when rendering aid during a crash situation. We all want to help when someone is injured or hurt, but it is important to take our own safety into regards first and foremost before putting ourselves in harm’s way.

Esurance offers tips for Good Samaritans on how to stay safe and be the most help to crash victims.

  • Park a safe distance from the crash. Try to park at least 100 feet from the accident. This gives first responders room to work and also allows you to survey the scene from a good distance to ensure that your own safety is not at risk.
  • Use your hazard lights to indicate to oncoming traffic that they should proceed with caution. If it is safe to do so, use traffic triangles or flares if you have them. Avoid using flares if there are potential fuel leaks.
  • Dial 911. Never make the assumption that someone else has notified 911 of the accident. Be ready to provide 911 operators with information about the accident’s location and any other information that can help ambulance or police be ready when they arrive at the scene.
  • Size up the situation. From a distance, size up any possible victims, including victims who may have been thrown from their vehicles. Look for perils like leaded fuel, broken glass and downed power lines.
  • Assist victims. If it is safe for you to do so, approach victims, but don’t attempt to move them unless the car is on fire or there’s some other imminent danger. Sometimes just talking to them, calming and reassuring them that you’ve dialed 911 is a big help. You might also provide a blanket or jacket to keep them warm.
  • Help drivers move their vehicles off the roadway if it is safe for them to do so and their vehicles are running.

Accidents spring up without a moment’s notice. If you or someone you love has been involved in a car accident, see our San Francisco car accident attorney right away to weigh the legal options available to you.

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