As our Atlanta semi-truck accident attorneys know, tractor trailers can be extremely dangerous on the roads. Their sheer size and power makes them more hazardous than normal cars or trucks. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), 12 to 13 percent of all fatal traffic crashes involve a large truck, even though they represent a small percentage of the vehicles on the roads. But, even more dangerous, they also often carry hazardous materials, as was shown in last week’s accident on Georgia’s Highway 29, between Highway 316 and Circle Road in Gwinnett County.
Shortly before noon last Monday a white Jeep Cherokee and a tractor trailer hit head on. As a result the driver of the tractor trailer lost control and the vehicle overturned. A bystander thankfully pulled the driver of the tractor trailer out of the vehicle to safety. According to Gwinnett County Police Officer Cpl. Jake Smith, “Of course things could’ve gone much worse than they did. It was a pretty heroic action on his part.” Both he and the driver of the Jeep Cherokee were taken to Gwinnett Medical Center in Lawrenceville, but fortunately neither had life threatening injuries.
However, the tractor trailer was carrying 8,500 gallons of gasoline, according to NBC 11. Five fire engines, four ambulances, and one Haz-Mat unit responded to the crash. About 100 to 250 gallons of gasoline leaked out of the tanker initially. Fire crews worked throughout Monday afternoon to try to keep the fires contained–a very serious concern with this type of accident. Gwinnett County Fire and Emergency Services officer Lt. Eric Eberly said, “If any kind of ignition lights the fuel that’s on the ground, it could potentially explode the fuel that’s inside the tanker.” Lt. Eberly said by Monday evening several thousand gallons of gasoline had seeped into the nearby creek. Crews continued to work to try to dam the creek and contain the spill, according to news reports. By 9pm, the diligent and hardworking crews had recovered 2,000 gallons of gas from the creek and another 1,000 from the tanker.
Still the Department of Transportation said work would not be complete until last Thursday. Crews from the Environmental Protection Service and SWS Environmental Services were working on continuing the clean up from this terrible tractor trailer accident.
It seemed from the reports that the driver of the Jeep, and not the tractor trailer, was to blame for the original accident. Cpl. Smith reported that the Jeep crossed the center line and hit the tanker. Regardless of who is to blame in this particular incident, accidents involving tractor trailers have heightened risks. Drivers of the tractor trailers, but also drivers of cars sharing the road with them, must be careful. If you have been injured in an accident involving a tractor trailer, the experienced Atlanta truck accident attorneys at Sammons & Carpenter (https://www.sclawpc.com/) may be able to help. To contact one of our experienced attorneys, please call 404-814-8949 or fill out our confidential case evaluation form to schedule a free consultation.
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(Photo courtesy of born 1945)