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Savannah area log truck accident kills pedestrian

I first learned of a fatal log truck accident in the Savannah area last week when a Savannah newspaper reporter phoned me for background information on log truck regulations in Georgia.

Police investigators in Garden City, Georgia, found 24 safety violations on a log truck that lost its load of logs, which crushed and killed a pedestrian.

The log truck was driven by Daniel Morris of Uvalda, Ga. He reportedly swerved as he neared an intersection, dislodging the trailer of logs. Neal James Hamilton, 57, of Lansing, Mich., was crushed by the falling load of logs.

Violations on the log truck included faulty brakes, balding tires, improper lights, failure to secure the load of logs properly, and a defective fifth wheel that attached the trailer to the truck.

Log trucks in Georgia are regulated by the Georgia Forest Products Trucking Rules. Those rules are relatively lax when compared with the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations, but it sound like even those weak rules were ignored in this case.

The victim was from Lansing, the capital of Michigan, where I recently took the deposition of an expert witness at Michigan State University.

Ken Shigley is a trucking safety trial attorney representing seriously injured people and families of people killed in tractor trailer, big rig, semi, intermodal container freight, log truck, cement truck, dump truck and bus accidents statewide in Georgia.

Mr. Shigley 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).

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.

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, which has offices in Atlanta, Savannahand Tifton.This post is subject to our ethical disclaimer.

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