Highway Car Troubles Turn Deadly


Evelyn Szczygla, 18, of Berlin would have been starting her sophomore year at Central Connecticut State University, but she was killed early Saturday morning, when she got out of her car on I-84 eastbound near exit 27, and was hit by a truck.
Just one week earlier, a similarly tragedy. Julie Greim, 21, of Guilford was hit and killed on I-91. She had gotten out of her car, after Connecticut State Police said she was in a minor accident near exit 16.

Greim had been working at SARAH, Inc., a non-profit that helps people with disabilities.

"I heard many stories about her energy, her enthusiasm, her passion for service," said SARAH, Inc. Executive Director Pat Bourne. "She made a dramatic impact and will be sorely missed."

State police are still investigating the circumstances behind both highway deaths, but spokesperson Lt. Paul Vance said they should serve as a warning.

"It should send a very clear message that walking on the highway for any reason, first of all is against the law, and it's dangerous," Lt. Vance said.

NBC Connecticut asked Lt. Vance what drivers should do if they get into car trouble on the highway.  "We definitely tell people do not exit your car and start walking to another exit ramp or to get help," Lt. Vance said.

If a cell phone is available, State Police recommend not just calling friends or family for help.  "Call 911 and let us send a trooper to protect you," Lt. Vance said.

If a working cell phone isn't available, State Police recommend making the car as visible as possible, by turning on headlights and flashers.

Also, Lt. Vance recommends putting a sign in the car window that reads, 'SEND HELP'.  "People are going to see you and report it to us," said Lt. Vance.

The bright-colored signs with emergency phone numbers and tips are available at all Connecticut State Police barracks.

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