Good Samaritan motorist dies in highway fall

Police in the US say an 83-year-old Maryland man fell 10 metres off an elevated highway and died while trying to help a driver whose SUV had rolled over.

Troopers say Richard Herron, of Elkton, Maryland, jumped over the centre median of Interstate 84 in Hartford yesterday (NZ time) to avoid a tractor-trailer that was nearing the accident scene.

Police say Herron probably didn't realise there was a large drop. He was later pronounced dead at a hospital.

Authorities say the SUV's driver, 45-year-old Sheila Jenkins of Hartford, was travelling too fast around a curve on the wet highway and lost control of her vehicle at about 3am. State police say she was taken to a hospital with minor injuries.

The accident and Herron's fall are under investigation.