Former AAA roadside tech shares story of horrific crash after driver disobeyed ‘Move Over’ law

News 8 Exclusive

BEACON FALLS, Conn. (WTNH)– A man from Beacon Falls sat down with News 8 to share his remarkable story of survival after a horrific crash.

The former AAA roadside technician suffered life-changing injuries after he was hit along Interstate 95. It all happened because one driver didn’t obey a simple law.

In 2009 Connecticut passed the “Move Over” law. Here we are nearly a decade later and not everyone is paying attention.

“It was a miracle, it really was. There was a reason I was saved,” said Jay Lynk.

Jay Lynk is a former roadside technician for AAA. In June of 2017, he pulled over along I-95 in Southport to help another driver.

“I called into our dispatch saying I just witnessed a car getting slammed by a tractor-trailer,” said Lynk.

Lynk’s colleague, Kevin Smith, then showed up in his flatbed. Shortly after, things took a tragic turn.

“I then turned to walk toward my truck then I just heard a bang, loud collision, glass break and I look and I could see my flatbed coming right at us,” said Smith.

A box truck in the right lane didn’t move over, slamming into both AAA vehicles parked on the side of the highway.

There are pictures of the aftermath showing mangled metal and debris everywhere.

Smith, badly injured, franticly started looking for his co-worker who was pinned underneath the flatbed.

“And our truck, which weighs around 11,000 pounds, was sitting on his back,” said Smith.

Lynx was rushed to the hospital in horrific shape. His boss at the time was preparing for the worst.

“They actually came out and said we don’t think he’s going to make it,” said Michael Ellesio, AAA Northeast.

But in the end, he did survive, emerging with injuries that altered his entire life.

“Massive road rash, 11 fractured ribs. I have to wear braces now because I have to get drop fit. My spine was twisted out. They ended up putting a rod up my back so my back is covered in wicked scars,” said Lynx.

He uses a wheelchair and walker to get around. It can be a challenge learning how to walk again. His recovery is ongoing.

“It’s still a process moving forward. It’s tough,” said Lynx.

The ‘Move Over’ law requires drivers to slow down or change lanes if they see an emergency vehicle on the side of the road with flashing lights or any vehicle for that matter.

“You see that emergency vehicle pulled over, you gotta understand you go by at 65 mph and you’re two feet away from that emergency vehicle, that’s dangerous,” said Sgt. Robert Derry, CT State Police.

State police know about this too well. In recent years their cars have been hit. People not moving over and then this happens, putting multiple lives in danger.

And if you don’t move over while on the highway, it will cost you. Keep in mind the fine is $181.

News 8 is able to see in real-time how people react to those flashing lights on 95 in West Haven.
Some moved over right away. Those that couldn’t, slowed down.

Others went zipping right by, coming within feet of the cruiser.

“We all have to go home at the end of the shift. We all have families and we ask people to remember that when we are doing our jobs,” said Derry.

As he fights through recovery, Lynx wants to make sure this doesn’t happen to anyone else.

“You don’t know who’s pulled over on the side of the road. You could put them in this situation or kill them. Put the phones down, put everything down. Pay attention to driving. You see someone on the side of the road, move over to the left,” said Lynx.

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