Being a Good Samaritan might cause more harm than good - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

Being a Good Samaritan might cause more harm than good

(KFVS) -

Actor Jamie Foxx is receiving praise for his actions off screen after he helped pull a man from a burning truck outside his home in California.

Several of you also stepped in when you saw stranded drivers after snow and ice made roads slick.

But when should you jump in and help, and when should you just keep moving?

The answer is steer clear.

Law enforcement and emergency crews both agree, pulling over could cause more harm than good.

 “If it happened to me, it can happen to anybody,” said Glen Morgan.

On Christmas morning, Morgan pulled up alongside a car with a flat tire parked on the shoulder of Interstate 55.

He soon learned he stopped to help the wrong people.

“I got hit in the back of the head, or kicked, and next thing I know I get woke up by a passersby,” he said.

Knocked unconscious, Morgan said $8 was stolen from his wallet before the car drove off.

“My arm was all cut up from where they drug my body about 15 to 20 feet in front of my truck, left for dead I guess,” said Morgan.

This isn’t the only problem emergency crews worry about when they arrive on scene.

Tow truck driver Darren McCallister said Good Samaritans tend to create more problems for him and other passing cars.

“I’ve actually seen where someone pulls up to help you, or help the person in the car, and they will cause another wreck behind you,” said McCallister.

Law enforcement advice? If you’re the first person at an accident, to driver to the next exit and immediately call 911.

If you decide it’s necessary to stop, pull in front of the vehicle at least 100 feet away and turn your flashers on.

But both men agree it’s better to leave the work to the professionals.

“They are in their car, usually cold and scared. It shakes you up, you don’t know what is going on. You are freezing to death and the last thing you need is another car wrecking beside you after the fact,” said McCallister.

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