Matthew Scott Danchak of Tamarac, Florida was critically injured Friday after he got out of his car following a crash and was struck by a semi, which fled the scene, news sources report. The other driver involved in the initial car accident was not publicly identified; it is unclear if she or he was injured. Danchak, 34, was rushed to the Broward Health North hospital for treatment following the crash. Police are currently investigating; so far, the hit-and-run driver has not been apprehended or charged. It is unclear whether Danchak or his family will file for damages.
According to reports, the accident happened around 12:40 Friday afternoon in the northbound lanes of the Sawgrass Expressway, near the exit onto Sample Road. Danchak was reportedly involved in a crash on the expressway that propelled his car in the median of the highway. The other driver’s car came to a rest on the right shoulder of the expressway, sources indicate. The details of that crash were not available at press time.
Based on reports, Danchak was relatively unhurt after his car stopped in the median. Sources say Danchak got out of his car and attempted to cross the highway in the direction of the other driver’s vehicle after the crash. As Danchak was crossing the expressway, he was struck by the front right side of a semi pulling a box trailer, sources allege. The driver of the tractor-trailer does not appear to have stopped for any duration of time after the accident. Reports described the tractor and trailer as white. The tractor was apparently damage in the crash and is missing its right front mirror.
Danchak sustained severe injuries after being hit by the truck; he was rushed to Broward Health North. An update on his condition was not immediately available at press time. It is unclear whether the other driver was hospitalized.
Police are now searching for the hit-and-run semi driver. The Florida Highway Patrol has also offered some tips following the crash regarding what to do if you are in a highway accident. “If you’re off the roadway, don’t attempt to cross an interstate highway,” an FHP spokesperson reportedly said. “It’s just too dangerous. Wait for law enforcement. Wait until the roadway is closed. Wait until someone can stop traffic.
“A lot of times people, they’re not able to judge the speed of a vehicle on the highway,” the FPH spokesperson added. “They think they can make it across but in reality the car is going 65, 70 miles an hour, and they just don’t realize it’s going that fast.”
Car crashes are common throughout South Florida, but Broward County came in second only to Miami-Dade County in the total number of crashes in the region in 2010. They year, there were 28,233 traffic crashes in the county, which resulted in 179 fatalities and 20,540 injuries, records from the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles indicate. The numbers are slightly less staggering given the fact that Broward is home to more than 1,700,000 people, making it Florida’s second largest county by population.