Tonight, a tractor trailer changing lanes on I-285 west, near Martin Luther King Jr. Drive, struck a Nissan, sending it into a highway guard rail. After hitting the guardrail, the vehicle was then struck by the cab of another tractor-trailer. Newlywed Danielle Holly, 21, was was killed at the scene. Her husband was transported to the trauma center at Grady Memorial Hospital.
One report stated that the first tractor trailer attempted to change lanes in front of the young couple, clipped the car, and sent it into the inner barrier wall. The car bounced back into the traffic lanes where it was struck by a semi which not carrying a load, resulting in what was described as a horrible rollover.
Initial media reports do not identify the trucking company involved.
The root cause of such tragic crashes often lies in mismanagement of safety issues by the trucking company. A poor safety culture flowing from corporate headquarters may lead to tragedy on the highway. In addition to the police investigation and statements of eyewitnesses, proper handling of civil cases arising from such tragedies includes examination of driver logs, operational records, and records of Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration regarding the company’s safety history.
Ken Shigley is an Atlanta, Georgia, trial attorney. He has been designated a “Super Lawyer” (Atlanta Magazine), one of the “Legal Elite” (Georgia Trend), and rated “AV Preeminent” by Martindale-Hubbell Legal Directory. He is author of Georgia Law of Torts: Trial Preparation & Practice (West, 2010), a Certified Civil Trial Attorney of the National Board of Trial Advocacy, and currently president-elect of the 42,000 member State Bar of Georgia. He has extensive experience in litigation and trial of cases involving serious personal injury, wrongful death, trucking accidents, automobile accidents, products liability, premises liability, and insurance. Mr. Shigley is a graduate of Furman University and Emory University Law School. This blog post is subject to our ethical disclaimer.