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J. B. Hunt tractor trailer runs stop sign, hits family van in Spalding County, Georgia

A mom and her three preschool children were injured on December 4th in Spalding County, Georgia, when a J. B. Hunt tractor trailer ran a stop sign and hit the passenger side of the family van.

According to the Georgia State Patrol spokesman, Cindy Lynn Fain, 38, of Hampton, was driving her Dodge minivan when the tractor trailer ran a stop sign and hit her vehicle. Her three seriously injured children were airlifted to Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta at Egleston, while the mom was taken to Spalding Regional Medical Center.

The Griffin Daily News reported that a 5-year-old girl in the van was in critical condition in ICU with a serious head injury and complex fractures of her left lower leg and foot. The 4-year-old child had a broken hip, and the 2-year-old had a less serious head injury.

According to a report by Mashaun Simon in the Atlanta Journal Constitution, the tractor trailer was driven by Solomon Debela, 37, of Tucker, Georgia. Debela was charged with failure to stop at a stop sign, failure to obey a traffic control device and charged for driving a truck on a no-thru truck road.

A report by Sheila Marshall in the Griffin Daily News states that Debela was a driver for J. B. Hunt, one of the largest trucking companies in America, and that he did not even try to stop at the stop sign.

Commercial trucking accidents are seldom as simple as one guy disregarding a traffic signal. When we dig in, we usually find that the corporate safety management policies and practices, and a tendency to turn a blind eye to unsafe practices, lie behind nearly every trucking tragedy. Lawyers who think these are just bigger car wrecks are dangerously naive and do a disservice to their clients.

Ken Shigley is a trucking safety trial attorney representing seriously injured people in tractor trailer, big rig, intermodal container freight, cement truck, dump truck and bus accidents statewide in Georgia. He served as chair of the Southeastern Motor Carrier Litigation Institute in 2005, is a national board member of the Interstate Trucking Litigation Group of the American Association for Justice, and is on the National Advisory Board for the Association of Interstate Trucking Lawyers of America.

He has extensive experience representing parties in interstate trucking collision cases, and in the past two years has spoken at national interstate trucking litigation seminars in Chicago (trucking insurance), New Orleans (trial tactics and side underride issues), St. Louis (punitive damages), San Francisco (dealing with insolvent trucking companies), Atlanta (trucking insurance, closing argument), Nashville (use of Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations), and Amelia Island (overview of trucking litigation).

A Certified Civil Trial Advocate of the National Board of Trial Advocacy, he has been listed as a “Super Lawyer” (Atlanta Magazine), among the “Legal Elite” (Georgia Trend Magazine), and in the Bar Register of Preeminent Lawyers (Martindale). In addition to trucking litigation, he has broad experience in products liability, catastrophic personal injury, wrongful death, spinal cord injury, brain injury and burn injury cases. Currently he is Treasurer and a candidate for President-Elect of the 41,000 member State Bar of Georgia.This post is subject to our ethical disclaimer.