No matter how often it happens, the useless tragedy is never less shocking.
Several years ago, something similar happened to a family in our neighborhood in Sandy Springs. The parents survived but their lovely teenage daughter, who had been a friend of my daughter since kindergarten, was killed instantly when a tractor trailer ran right over them as they slowed for congested traffic on I-20 in Alabama. After seeing so many incidents of this sort, I automatically hit the hazard flasher button whenever traffic slows ahead of me on the expressway.
The predawn hours are an all too common time for this sort of crash. Driver fatigue and efforts to keep driving despite sleepiness are often a factor.
Investigation of such incidents should include tracking down and examining all driver logs, trip receipts, Prepass records, weigh station records, bills of lading, etc., etc., to determine whether there were violations of hours of service rules in the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations. It should also include investigation of the driver’s medical history, including any disqualifying medical conditions and use of prescription or non-prescription medications that may affect alertness.
Ken Shigley is a trial attorney in Atlanta, Georgia who 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), and is a Certified Civil Trial Advocate of the National Board of Trial Advocacy. He served as chair of the Southeastern Motor Carrier Litigation Institute, is on the National Advisory Board for the Association of Interstate Trucking Lawyers of America, and is a frequent speaker at continuing legal education programs for the Interstate Trucking Litigation Group of the American Association for Justice. Mr. Shigley has extensive experience representing parties in trucking and bus accidents, products liability, catastrophic personal injury, wrongful death, spinal cord injury, brain injury and burn injury cases. Currently he is Treasurer of the 40,000 member State Bar of Georgia.This post is subject to our ethical disclaimer.