Our Atlanta tractor trailer attorneys know that tractor trailers are dangerous on the roads, and not only for vehicle crashes. Hauling different types of cargo, sometimes hazardous materials, is also a danger. And if the tractor trailer is not maintained properly or the cargo not secured, debris can also be a risk to other people on the road.
Unfortunately this is what happened earlier this week when an 8 year old girl, Cameron Mcilwain, was killed on I-20 near downtown Atlanta on Wednesday evening, according to the Georgia State Patrol. A tractor trailer driven by David Washington was eastbound near Martin Luther King Jr. Drive when parts of the truck’s transmission flew off. Troopers said the transmission broke into several pieces, some of which went over the wall and struck a vehicle in the westbound lane. The debris hit a Chevrolet Blazer going westbound. It went through the Chevy’s windshield, hit the driver, 29 year old Jameka French, in the arm and then struck and killed the driver’s daughter, Cameron, in the backseat. Ms. French was able to stop her car near the median wall. She was taken to Grady Memorial Hospital where her arm was amputated below the elbow as a result of her injuries. Ms. French’s other child, 19 month old Kanary Malone, only suffered minor cuts from the shattered glass. Three other vehicles were struck with debris, but there were no other injuries reported.
Mr. Washington was driving the tractor trailer for CW Transport at the time, according to the Georgia State Patrol. Spokesperson Gordy Wright said any charges to be filed against Mr. Washington will happen after the completion of the investigation into this accident. “There is a possibility charges could be filed,” said Mr. Wright. “Or this could end up being a very freak tragic accident.” He went on to say, “In the situation like this, where it appears there was mechanical failure, officers are going to conduct a full inspection on the tractor-trailer to determine if there were other violations.”
The standard of proof for criminal cases and civil cases is different, so even if no criminal charges are filed or there is no conviction, a civil lawsuit is still an option to seek compensation and justice for negligence that ruins lives. This is something that families deserve, and can also serve as a powerful deterrent to future negligence, not only by drivers but by those responsible for maintaining the truck.
These commercial vehicles are held to a higher standard than normal passenger vehicles because of their dangerous nature, and those responsible need to be held accountable for keeping the trucks safe. If someone in your family has been involved in any kind of accident with a tractor trailer, the Atlanta truck accident attorneys at Sammons & Carpenter, PC can assist in determining whether you have a case and how to move forward. Call us today at 404-814-8949, or fill out our confidential online case evaluation form for a free consultation.
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