As this blog has discussed numerous times, tractor trailers are dangerous vehicles and cause a disproportionate amount of serious accidents on the road. Our Atlanta tractor trailer lawyers also appreciate that accidents with tractor trailers are often more severe when involving particuarly vulnerable vehicles, like small care, motorcyles, or bicycles. For example, in one sad story from this week, the two ends of the transportation spectrum- the big, powerful tractor trailer and the small, vulnerable bicycle- collided with tragic results.
According to news reports, 64 year old Michigan native Pete Cornell was biking from Alaska to the Florida Keys. He was nearing the end of his cross country bike trip when a tractor trailer rig hit him on a highway near Dawson, Georgia. It was just before daybreak when the rig smashed into the back of his bicycle. The tractor trailer also hit two of his companions, both also from Michigan, 62 year old Thomas Clark and 60 year old Joseph Muscato. The two companions were injured, Mr. Clark seriously, and Mr. Cornell was killed in the accident. Mr. Cornell and his friends always wore helmets and reflective clothing and lights, according to friends, but he was never overly concerned about being in danger.
Mr. Cornell spent most of his life in Ann Arbor, Michigan, as a real estate agent, but retired in Florida. He took up biking in retirement, and he biked all over the United States, according to friends. The cross country trip he was on when he died was a continuation after biking from Prudhoe Bay, Alaska, to Calgary, Alberta, last year. He had completed 2,700 miles of the 3,500 mile trek when he died, covering about 100 miles a day. He told friends worried for his safety on the road that this bike trip would be his last and with it, he would accomplish everything he wanted to accomplish.
His son, Dan, said it was “so sad” that his father was not able to finish the cross country ride. He said his father was very driven and had a true passion for athletics and physical fitness. Dan Cornell hasn’t been on a bicycle in 20 years, but he told reporters he plans to pick up where his father left off and finish the trip in the next few months. “I’m doing it just because he can’t. I think it helps me get a little bit of closure,” said Dan. Aside from Dan, Mr. Cornell left behind his partner, Sue Pavlat, a daughter and four grandchildren. Police are still investigating this tragic accident and have not determined yet whether the driver of the tractor trailer will be charged.
It is crucial not to forget the real faces, names and stories behind these tragic road accidents. It is easy to get lost in the statistics, but at the end of the day these accidents are about individuals and families. It is for their sake more than anything that legal accountability needs to be had in situations where an accident is caused by the negligence of a driver.
If you or someone in your family needs legal assistance for a vehicle accident case, the experienced Atlanta truck accident attorneys at Sammons & Carpenter, PC can help determine if you have a case and how to proceed with legal avenues. Call us today at 404-991-5950, or fill out our confidential online case evaluation form for a free consultation.
See Our Related Blog Posts:
Tractor Trailer Hit and Run in Georgia
Tractor Trailer Runs Red Light and Kills Two Atlanta Coworkers