By Jessica Albert

MARRIOTTSVILLE, Md. (WJZ) — State troopers are investigating a crash that killed a AAA worker Thursday morning in Howard County.

“I think it simply illustrates the dangers that our first responders, that our tow truck drivers, that our police, our EMS, the dangers that they face every day on the side of the road in an effort to try to assist others,” AAA Public and Government Affairs Manager Ragina Ali said.

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The driver was 38-year-old Muhammad Shehzad. The crash happened around 11:30 a.m. on eastbound I-70 in Marriottsville.

Maryland state troopers said that Shehzad had just finished changing a flat tire on the side of the road when a pickup truck hit him and his work van. Shehzad was wearing a safety vest and his emergency lights were flashing.

The truck ended up about 100 feet off the side of the road down an embankment. The driver of the pickup truck was a 77-year-old man from Virginia. An investigation is underway on what caused the crash.

“Our investigators are not sure what the circumstances involving this crash are,” Maryland State Police Spokesperson Elena Russo said. “They’re certainly looking into speed and distraction, but, we don’t know. It could’ve been a medical condition.”

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WJZ spoke with a AAA representative who said this is the company’s third employee to be killed on the job in the last six months. While the cause of the crash remains under investigation, she added it is important to remember the slowdown, move over law.

“Unfortunately, what we know about the Slow Down, Move Over law is that a lot of people don’t know that it exists despite the fact that there is some form of the law in every state of this country and that if they do know the law exists, they’re not obeying it,” Ali said.

This accident comes just weeks after a AAA survey found 75 percent of Maryland first responders said drivers do not move over or slow down.

Drivers that spoke with WJZ disagree. “I think people do try to follow that as much as possible, but it’s not always possible,” driver Linda Stuckey said. “You have to pay attention to the cars that are traveling along with you as well.”

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The driver of the pickup truck was taken to shock trauma after the crash. Charges are pending against him as the investigation into what caused the crash continues.

Jessica Albert