Articles Posted in Truck Accident

Efforts to prevent truck collision often center around controlling the behavior of truck drivers. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has imposed numerous requirements for licensing of truckers and has imposed strict limitations on the amount of time truckers can drive per week. While preventing drivers from unsafe actions is very important, drive behavior is not the only cause of truck collisions. truck

Inadequate truck maintenance and unsafe vehicles are also a major problem within the United States. The FMCSA does have requirements in place to ensure trucks are roadworthy, but it is difficult to enforce these regulations and a huge number of big rigs on the road are not actually safe to drive. When a truck crash occurs because of problems with the vehicle, an Atlanta personal injury lawyer can help victims or their family members to take appropriate legal action. Continue Reading

Truck collisions are often among the most serious or deadly of accidents due to the large size of tractors and other commercial vehicles. Everything possible should be done to prevent trucks from becoming involved in crashes and causing harm to motorists on the road. One of the most important steps taken in recent years has involved imposing stricter limits on the number of hours that truckers can be on the road. Unfortunately, the new rules on maximum on-duty hours and maximum drive time have been met with significant resistance. truck 2

A new survey commissioned by the Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety and the Truck Safety Coalition seems to indicate that motorists would prefer to keep strict limits in effect to ensure that tired truckers aren’t on the roads. When a fatigued driver does cause a collision, an Atlanta truck accident attorney can help those who are hurt to pursue a claim to receive monetary compensation for resulting losses.

Tired Truckers Could Increase Atlanta Truck Accidents

Our Atlanta truck accident lawyers know that tractor trailers can be dangerous to other cars on the road, but also to pedestrians, cyclists, or people who have to stop by the side of the road for an emergency. Tragically, a recent news story has shown that all too clearly again, cutting short the life of a promising young athlete.

Track
Torrin Lawrence, 25 years old, was a champion runner at the University of Georgia, where he graduated in 2013 with a degree in sociology. While on the Georgia track and field team from 2009-2012, he was the SEC and NCAA champion, set a collegiate record, and held three school records. He was a four time All-American and in 2010 was the US Track and Field and Cross Country Coaches Association National Male Track Athlete of the Year. Before his tragic death, he was competing as a professional athlete in Atlanta and representing the US track and field team at international competitions. He had a successful career ahead of him as one of the fastest sprinters in the country. He ran for the US at the IAAF World Relays in Nassau, the Bahamas, two months ago, running the first leg of the 4×400 relay and helping the team capture gold. And in early July, he ran a personal best outdoor time of 45.32 at a competition in Belgium.

Torrin was driving home to Jacksonville, Florida, after training in Athens when his car had a flat tire on Interstate 75 near Cordele, about 90 miles from the Georgia-Florida border, on Monday morning. His car was stopped in a southbound lane and Torrin got out of the car to call 911. A tractor trailer smashed into his car, knocking the car into him. He died at the scene from injuries sustained in the crash.

Our Atlanta tractor trailer accident lawyers saw a tragic news story about the death of a pedestrian after being hit by a tractor trailer on I-75 in Henry County. Pedestrian car crashes are a significant problem. Across the United States 4,280 pedestrians were killed in vehicle accidents in 2010, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The same year more than 70,000 pedestrians were injured. Pedestrians are actually 1.5 times more likely to be killed in a vehicle accident than people in the vehicle on each trip. These numbers mean that a pedestrian is injured in a vehicle crash once every eight minutes and a pedestrian is fatally injured once every two hours.

This was the case for a Georgia man this week. Alan Bryan Fletcher pulled over to the shoulder at mile marker 211 on the southbound side near Locust Grove Road, although police are not sure if it was due to a mechanical issue with his car or if he just stopped. He walked around to the front of his car and went into the road. Mr. Fletcher, a 52 year old from Locust Grove, was then hit by a passing tractor trailer and was pronounced dead on the scene just before noon on October 7, according to Henry County Police Lt. Philip Bratton. The tractor trailer driver stopped after the accident, but his name was not released. The accident stopped traffic on the southbound lanes for an hour while on-site investigations were conducted as to what exactly happened to Mr. Fletcher. The investigation into the accident is on-going.

Tractor.jpg

This has been a bad week for vehicle vs. pedestrian accidents in the Atlanta area. Mr. Fletcher was the second pedestrian just on that Monday, October 7, who was hit by a vehicle in the Atlanta area. An unidentified woman was standing on I-75/85 near Fulton Street when she was hit by a Kia Optima. This occurred around 10:30 am. She was standing in the second lane to the right on the Downtown Connector and several cars swerved to miss her before she was hit by the Kia. Investigators were not sure why she was in the road, but she was taken to Grady Memorial Hospital while still unconscious to treat her injuries.

Our Atlanta tractor trailer accident attorneys saw more news this week about how destructive truck accidents can be.

On Monday this week, three people were injured in an accident with a tractor trailer in Moultrie, although none of the injuries appeared to be life threatening. One person was airlifted to Archbold Memorial Hospital in Thomasville, while another was taken by ambulance. The third injury was very minor and the individual was taken to Colquett Regional Medical Center in Moultrie. The accident involved three large trucks that collided at an intersection – the three consisted of a Mayfield milk truck, a fertilizer truck, and a Swift tractor trailer. A spokesman for the Moultrie Fire Department, Lieutenant Justin Cox, said the accident happened around 4pm at the intersection of US 319 and Ga. 133 north. The wreck was so bad, that in addition to the injuries, that three fire department units, including a hazardous materials team, had to be sent to try to contain the 500 gallons of diesel fuel that spilled from the accident. Fortunately the fertilizer truck was found to be empty, as spilled fertilizer material could have been an even more pressing and potentially damaging problem.

Another accident happened earlier this month in Carroll Country that also sparked fears because of a fuel spill. Two semi-trucks crashed on Interstate 20- one truck rear ended the other, and ended up catching on fire. One semi-truck overturned and emergency crews had to deal with the spilling oil and diesel fuel. One of the tractor trailer drivers was also injured in this accident and had to be airlifted to a hospital in Atlanta due to serious injuries. And a logging truck also overturned at the end of July on Ga. 400 north. The load of logs spilled onto the roadway and, like in the other cases, so did diesel fuel and hydraulic fuel, causing a need for the hazardous materials unit to help clean up after the accident.

Our Atlanta tractor trailer lawyers know that tractor trailer accidents can be dangerous or fatal. Just this morning, at around 9:45am according to reports, a woman was injured in a crash between her Nissan Altima and a tractor trailer. The injured woman is 54 year old Jacqueline Ray and the accident happened on Kingston Highway near Rome. The Altima’s front left side collided with the tractor trailer as it went north on the bypass. Rome-Floyd County firefighters had to cut her out of her car after the accident. Her injuries are unknown and her passenger suffered only small cuts and scrapes. The accident is still being investigated.

The accident this morning seems to be relatively minor so far, and with no fatalities. But that is lucky. In a nearby area just last week, another accident between a car and a tractor trailer occurred and over the weekend one victim died of her injuries from the crash. That accident happened on July 14 at the intersection of US 27 and Ga. 140 when the victim, Barbara Fowler, turned right in her Mercury Grand Marquis. The light was green, and the tractor trailer driver thought she was going to head straight through the intersection, so he proceeded to turn left, causing the crash. Fowler was conscious when pulled from her vehicle and taken to Floyd Medical Center, but died in the hospital of injuries several days later. The driver of that tractor trailer, Jackie Johnson, a 55 year old from South Carolina, will now face second degree vehicular homicide for the accident, according to Sgt. Scott Thompson, who is contacting the company Johnson works for as a truck driver. The Georgia State Patrol are trying to determine where Johnson is so they can charge him for the crime.

Tractor.jpg

Also last week, on Tuesday, a tractor trailer sped across Highway 11 near the Highway 78 exit in Monroe and slammed into an abandoned gas station. The accident demolished the old gas station and city utility workers had to come and clear the scene. Fortunately no one was injured in that accident.

Our Atlanta car accident attorneys, like everyone in the area, spent last weekend trying to stay dry and safe in the stormy weather. Area news reports highlighted the flash flood warnings and rain in northern Georgia. Several parks were closed due to rising water from local creeks and rivers. Tree branches felled power lines and thousands of Georgians were without power. Some areas got five inches of rain, with three inches on Saturday alone, a record for the area. This weather also had an impact on the roadways, which were slick with rain, and there were two horrific vehicle accidents on Saturday in Greene County with two fatalities. tractortrailer.jpg

At 11:25am about three miles west of Lake Oconee Parkway on I-20, 26 year old Coranda Nicole Peeples, from Morrow, was driving her Honda Accord when she lost control of the car, crossed the median and was hit by an oncoming tractor trailer. The impact sliced the car into two pieces and Ms. Peeples and her 29 year old passenger, Calverence Roshard Lee from Wrens, Georgia, were ejected from the car. Calverence Roshard Lee tragically died and Coranda Nicole Peeples was taken to Athens Regional hospital with serious injuries.

Another fatal crash happened at 2pm on the same road when a tractor trailer approached traffic backed up by the first accident near mile marker 127, hitting a Ford Crown Victoria. The Crown Victoria went into a spin, was hit by the tractor trailer a second time and then hit the back end of a different tractor trailer. A 17 year old passenger in the back seat of the car, Annaleah Karth from Rocky Mount, North Carolina, was killed in that accident and three other people in the car were taken to the hospital. The driver of the tractor trailer was taken to the hospital as well. This crash is still under investigation by the Georgia State Patrol, and charges may be pending in this accident.

Our Atlanta tractor trailer accident attorneys have stressed in this blog time and again how much more dangerous tractor trailers are on the road and how much more careful tractor trailer drivers must be because of their vehicles’ destructive power. Accidents keep happening, though, and Georgians keep getting hurt or killed by these large and powerful trucks.

On November 16, Peter Trione was driving his 2007 black Ford F150 truck eastbound on Highway 369 near Hubert Martin Road. He left the road for reasons unknown, and then when he returned to the highway he turned into the westbound lane, where he was struck on the passenger side of his truck according to news reports.His pickup was pushed into the driveway of a home on the 4400 block of Matt Highway. Mr. Trione was 43-years-old and from Cumming, Georgia. The accident occurred around 7:30am, and Mr. Trione was pronounced dead at the scene, according to the Forsyth County Sherriff’s Office. The driver of the tractor trailer, 52-year-old Troy Lee Emanuel of Dahlonega, was taken to Northside Hospital-Forsyth with minor injuries. The semi he was driving, which ended up in a pasture due to the accident, is owned by Mountain Milk of Gainesville, which normally transports chickens. On the day of the accident, however, the trailer was filled with only the empty chicken cages. The trailer did not overturn in the crash. The accident is still under investigation.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), part of the Department of Transportation, has a report on accidents involving large trucks. Their statistics show that one out of every nine road fatalities in the United States in 2008 involved a tractor trailer. Of those fatalities, 74 percent were occupants of the other vehicle and ten percent were non-occupants (like the bicyclist discussed in a previous blog post here. Only 16 percent of the fatalities were the drivers of the large trucks.

Car and tractor trailer accidents are too common in Georgia, and this blog has discussed numerous reasons why tractor trailers are particularly dangerous vehicles on the road. The Georgia Department of Motor Vehicle Safety states that one in six deaths from vehicle crashes involve a large commercial truck. In 86 percent of those fatal tractor trailer crashes, it is the person in the passenger vehicle, not the truck, who dies.

Unfortunately, there was another instance of this type of fatal crash last week on Ga. 316. According to news reports, 68-year-old Anvir Karim of Dacula was driving westbound on Ga. 316 in his 1997 black Nissan Maxima when the accident occurred at 6:45am last Thursday. A tractor trailer heading eastbound, driven by 34-year-old Latora Barrett of Columbia, South Carolina, turned left suddenly onto Hurricane Trail in Lawrenceville. He turned in front of Mr. Karim’s car, causing the Maxima to slam into the side of the trailer. The car then wedged underneath the trailer, according to Gwinnett police Cpl. Edwin Ritter. The preliminary investigation of the crash has found that Mr. Karim did not have sufficient time to stop and avoid the crash.tractortrailer.jpg

Captain Eric Eberly, of the Gwinnett fire department, said the department’s Technical Rescue Team used air bags and large timbers to lift the tractor trailer off the ground and stabilize the truck. Then they dragged the Maxima out from under the truck and cut Mr. Karim out of the severely mangled car. Cpl. Ritter noted, “It took well over an hour, maybe almost two hours for fire and EMS to extricate him from the vehicle.” He was taken to Gwinnett Medical Center in critical condition, but later died of the injuries he sustained in the accident. As is the case most of the time, shown by the statistic above, Mr. Barrett, the driver of the truck, was not injured. Cpl. Ritter told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, in an email, that Mr. Barrett is facing charges for this fatal accident. Gwinnett County Detention Centers show that the uninjured Mr. Barrett was booked the afternoon of the day of the accident on charges of failure to yield and vehicular homicide.

Our Atlanta trucking accident lawyers know that there is no doubt that, especially with huge vehicles, our roads can be dangerous. Tractor trailers and large buses pose particular risks to smaller cars and to people. For example, just this week saw a dangerous fire involving a Megabus in northeast Georgia. raod blurry.jpg

Megabus is a budget bus company that offers low priced one way fares between cities in the US and Canada and has been in operation since 2006. According to news reports, last Wednesday a double decker bus caught fire on Interstate 85, forcing passengers to get off and closing the northbound lanes of 85 for hours. This particular bus was travelling between Atlanta and Charlotte, North Carolina. The fire started around 11:40am and the company stated there were about 80 passengers onboard at the time. Fortunately, in this accident no one was injured, although with such a dangerous situation there easily could have been many hurt. In this case, the driver safely evacuated the bus. But a spokesperson for the Georgia Department of Transportation stated that crews had to cut the charred bus in half horizontally to be able to move it from the highway. The bus was so badly burned and damaged that it was the only way to get it off the road. The cause of the fire is still being investigated.

This incident in Georgia is just the latest in a series of accidents for Megabus. Others involved were not so lucky as those in Georgia. Just in the last few weeks, there have been two serious Megabus accidents in Illinois. On August 2, one of their buses hit a pillar on Interstate 55 near Litchfield, Illinois, killing a passenger and injuring more than 40 others. That accident was likely caused by a blown tire, which is a danger for these buses and also for tractor trailers.