Two people struck by car while changing tires in Stoneham

STONEHAM, Mass. — Two pedestrians were struck by a car while changing tires early Saturday morning, Massachusetts State Police said.

The incident happened just before 4 a.m. on I-93 S, just north of exit 33 in Stoneham.

According to police, the two people pulled over to change a flat tire on a car when another passing vehicle hit them.

Both victims were transported to local hospitals. Their conditions are unknown at this time.

One victim was taken to Massachusetts General Hospital while the other was taken to Melrose-Wakefield.

Police said the driver did not stop, but there is currently no description or information on the vehicle.

Derek Stephens, the responding tow truck driver and owner of Stephens Automotive Transport in Medford, said the apparent hit-and-run should serve as a reminder of how dangerous the roads can be for any drivers with a roadside emergency.

Stephens also said it's a reminder of how often the move-over law in Massachusetts, enacted nine years ago, is ignored.

"It means when you're coming down the highway and you see a truck with its lights on or somebody in the breakdown lane, then you need to move into the second lane over," Stephens said. "You can't be driving next to the breakdown lane."

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Stephens arrived on the scene of the crash after the ambulances left, and said that, while the law technically only applies to stopped maintenance and emergency vehicles, it should've been common courtesy to give the tire-changers some extra room.

"When you do not move over, it puts everyone at risk," Stephens said.

The Statewide Towing Association of Massachusetts estimates about 60 tow truck drivers are killed in the United States every year, but tow truck operator Zack Moustakas said people don't hear about the numerous close class like this one.

"We're on the side of a highway hooking up a car, and the cars are like three inches from my back," Moustakas said. "Our lives matter, too. Nobody wants to get killed out there. We want to go home to our families at night."

Anyone who may have witnessed this incident or has more information on it is asked to contact State Police.