Tragedy struck a local Garland family when their son, Christopher Pham, 23, was one of three killed while changing a car tire on Interstate 635/LBJ Freeway in Dallas around 3:30 AM Sunday.
Driving home with four friends, the group’s car got flat tire. After pulling over to the side of the freeway, Pham and two friends, now identified as Hieu Minh Doan (22) and David Nguyen (23), exited the car to change the tire while the two others remained inside. The group was then struck by Jesus Chavarria-Vazquez, who fled from the scene on-foot, leaving his 12-year-old son injured inside his vehicle. Pham and his two friends outside of the car were pronounced dead at the scene, and the two others who remained inside survived with injuries. Police are still searching for Chavarria-Vazquez now.
“Dealing with one [victim] is horrific and to compound it three times is unimaginable. It appears that all three were friends, so this just had to be a horrific scene.” —Dallas Sergeant Warren Mitchell
Sadly, the accident that took Christopher Pham and his friends’ lives is not an isolated incident by any means. According to the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, more than one hit-hit-and-run occurs every minute. In 2016, about 2,049 of those hit-and-runs resulted in fatalities — the highest number on record. Unfortunately, pedestrians make up most of that statistic.
While changing a tire may be a common occurrence, doing so on a busy highway can be a very dangerous. If you run into this situation, the safest thing for you to do is to call a towing company or roadside assistance. If you are unable to do so, remember to follow these safety tips:
- Pull into the exterior emergency lane
- Turn on your hazard lights
- Place safety markers or reflective triangles behind your vehicle if you’re changing the tire at night
- Make sure you are a safe distance from the road
If you have any information regarding the accident or whereabouts of Jesus Chavarria-Vazquez, contact Dallas Vehicle Crime Detective Jackson at (214) 671-0009.
Have you recently been in a car accident that was someone else’s fault? After more than 25 years representing injury victims in car wrecks, truck wrecks, and motorcycle accidents, the experienced team of professional accident attorneys at Reyes Browne Reilley have seen the consequences of negligence first-hand. If you have sustained injuries because of a car wreck which was not your fault, contact us now for a free and confidential case review. Fill out our form online, or call (214) 526-7900 and we will get you on the road to recovery.