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Innocent beginning, tragic ending on San Diego area highway

Tow truck drivers do a job many of us take for granted. Our car's battery dies or our vehicle stalls or some other mechanical mishap forces us to the side of the road, and we respond by calling for a tow. We hope the driver can fix what ails our vehicle, and if not, the driver will tow the car to a garage.

While the average San Diego motorist might take all of this for granted, tow truck drivers know that their jobs are extremely dangerous ones. Tow truck drivers face highways packed with speeding vehicles that don't slow down or move over to allow the tow truck driver to tend to the disabled vehicle. Sometimes those fast-moving vehicles strike an innocent tow trucker driver -- or, as in the case of a recent tragedy, strikes two tow truck drivers at once.

One of the tow truck drivers struck on a San Marcos stretch of highway died at the scene. The other was hospitalized with serious injuries after being struck by a vehicle that veered onto the shoulder at precisely the wrong moment.

The hospitalized driver suffered a broken leg and "massive internal injuries," according to a TV station report quoting the California Highway Patrol.

The accident on State Route 78 began with nothing more than a flat tire on a pick-up truck. Two tow trucks responded to the call, with their drivers busily fixing the tire of the vehicle parked on the shoulder. That's when the driver of a passing pick-up veered onto the shoulder, hitting the two workers, killing a 48-year-old El Cajon man.

In similar situations, a grieving family struggling to deal with emotional and financial losses will begin to sort through their legal options by sitting down with an attorney experienced in wrongful death litigation and negotiation. It can be an important part of the family's healing process.

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