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Sod truck crash kills one in Canton, brake failure suspected

Last night on I-575 in Cherokee County, an 18 wheeler tractor trailer hauling sod crashed at the bottom of an exit ramp from I-575 to Ga. 140 in Canton. The three-vehicle collision resulted in the death of one person, thus far not identified in the media. The tractor trailer crossed over the intersection and hit another vehicle, according a CBS News report.

According an article by Mike Morris in the Atlanta Journal Constitution, police were investigating whether brakes had failed on the tractor trailer.

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations govern interstate trucking — between different states. Section 393.40 of the FMCSR defines required brake systems. Section 393.43 sets requirements for breakaway and emergency braking. Section 393.47 covers brake actuators, slack adjusters, linings/pads and drums/rotors. Section 393.52 sets standards for brake performance.

If a truck is operated only intrastate (within Georgia), then it is subject to the Georgia Motor Carrier Safety Regulations. The bulk of the federal rules on equipment required for safe operation, including these rules regarding brakes, are simply incorporated by reference in the Georgia rules.

Ken Shigley, author of Georgia Law of Torts: Trial Preparation & Practice, is a board member of the Interstate Trucking Litigation Group, and 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 . He practices law at the Atlanta law firm of Chambers, Aholt & Rickard, and has broad experience in catastrophic personal injury, wrongful death, products liability, spinal cord injury, brain injury and burn injury cases. He is also president-elect of the 42,000 member State Bar of Georgia. This post is subject to our ethical disclaimer.