Caught on camera: Driver nearly crushed while tending to stalled vehicle on freeway shoulder

Photo: Leon Clark

A driver jumps out of the way seconds before his stalled vehicle is rear-ended on the H-1 Freeway, the entire incident caught on camera.

The close call happened at around 8:30 a.m. Wednesday, July 26, during the morning rush hour.

Leon Clark says he was headed to a doctor appointment when he ran into some car trouble. His car stopped before he could make it to the next exit, so he pulled over to the shoulder lane.

“I’m pretty lucky that people were letting me over,” he said. “I was pretty much going 30 miles an hour at a certain point.”

With cars flying by, Clark says he was about to grab something to place behind his vehicle.

“That’s when I heard the screeching and I turned around real quick, saw silver, and just jumped out of the way,” he said.

Clark jumped over the guardrail just in time.

KHON2 asked him, “Once you got out of the way, what were you thinking?”

“God is good. God is real good,” he replied. “I kind of took it light-heartedly. Just that evening I was making jokes with friends, but watching it over and over again, I’m pretty lucky.”

Clark says his flashers were on when his car was rear-ended.

We wanted to know what should a driver do in this situation, so we showed the video to Steven Wong of Wong Way Driving Academy.

“The safest thing to do is get as close as you can to the shoulder. Get off (of the freeway) if you can, go on the other side of the guardrail if possible,” Wong said. “For sure put on your hazard lights and be careful if you’ve got to go to the rear of the vehicle, because that’s the part that’s going to get hit first.”

The Hawaii Department of Transportation says drivers should turn on their emergency lights and set up triangles or flares if they have them. Exit the vehicle only if necessary and when safe to do so.

You can also call a tow truck or the DOT’s Freeway Service Patrol at 841-HELP (4357).

Wong says passing drivers can help too.

“It should be that if anyone is on the side of the road, move over a lane if it’s open or slow yourself down to 35 (mph) to give that person a little bit of breathing room as far as the side of the road,” he advised.

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