As Atlanta tractor trailer accident attorneys, we know how dangerous these vehicles can be on the road. They are used to transport all manner of hazardous or highly flammable material, and if something goes wrong there are often serious problems.
A tractor trailer hauling hazardous liquids crashed and caught on fire in the early hours last Tuesday. The crash happened near the Gwinnett-Barrow county line on I-85 near Georgia Highway 211. Braselton police Assistant Chief Lou Solis told reporters that one of the brakes on the tractor trailer caught fire, and the fire spread to the trailers. This was a twin trailer truck, and the rear trailer contained the hazardous liquids. Barrow County doesn’t have haz-mat capabilities so Gwinnett County had to send a crew equipped with haz-mat suits to deal with this accident. The fire crews doused the flames, but not before 200 to 300 gallons of hazardous liquid spilled out of the trailer (for a previous posting on a similar incident, see here).
The chemicals were contained in the shoulder area of the road and the trucking company hired a private company to come do further clean up of the hazardous material. Lieutenant Blair Darst, the incident commander for the emergency call, said “With the help of Braselton Police, Barrow County Sheriff’s Office, Georgia State Patrol, Department of Transportation, Environmental Protection Agency, and the trucking company we were able to handle the call with no danger to the citizens or the environment.”
The accident resulted in traffic back-ups nine miles long, across Gwinnett, Barrow, and Jefferson Counties northeast of Atlanta. Lanes were shut in both directions while crews worked on the scene. But this case was lucky, because there were no injuries from this accident, despite the dangerous nature of the chemicals and fire involved.
Our Georgia trucking accident attorneys have discussed the heightened danger tractor trailers bring to the road. This is why laws require extra protections for these types of ultra-dangerous vehicles, in terms of brakes and back up brakes and special systems to try to reduce the impact of an accident on the much smaller vehicles around.
But as this example shows, these tractor trailers are not just dangerous for their size and power, but also because they are mostly commercial and carry all manner of freight, including hazardous materials. Georgians need to be careful on highways, as Georgia is one of the top five states for tractor trailer accidents. There are stiff fines and penalties for breaking Georgia’s laws on tractor trailer safety, particularly in regards to transporting hazardous material. These violations face heavier fines and a possible jail sentence of up to five years. That only applies to criminal sanctions, however. Civil suits need to be filed by those actually hurt in these incidents in order for compensation to be provided to those affected.
If someone in your family has been involved in an accident involving a tractor trailer or has been affected by a dangerous tractor trailer incident, the Georgia accident attorneys at Sammons & Carpenter can help you determine how to move forward with your case. Please call us at 404-814-8948, or fill out our confidential online case evaluation form for a free consultation.
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