At 3:30 a.m. the morning of June 19, a tanker truck smashed into the back of a car on I-16, forcing it across the median and into oncoming lanes of traffic. All three people in the car were killed.
If you live in Atlanta, youâ€™re likely aware that this was no isolated incident. As the third fatal trucking accident on I-16 in just two months, multi-fatality wrecks are becoming too common a staple of GA news.
In April, five Georgia Southern nursing students were commuting on I-16 to a Savannah hospital for school obligations when a tractor-trailer slammed into a string of cars, starting a chain reaction that crushed the girlsâ€™ car and caused it to burst into flames. Fried Rogers Goldberg is representing some of the families who suffered due to this crash.
Just one month later, a tractor-trailer on I-16 careened into two cars and ignited, killing all three people in one vehicle and both passengers in the other. Witnesses reported seeing the truck drifting in and out of lanes before the collision, and an attending officer indicated the driver may have fallen asleep at the wheel.
These crashes are still under investigation, and it may be years before the victimsâ€™ families know all of the facts.
Governor Takes Notice
Georgia reported more than 16,000 truck-related accidents last year, 157 of them fatal, and this last string of tragedies does little to predict any improvement unless drastic measures are taken. In response, Gov. Nathan Deal announced a $10 million-per-year plan to hire 60 additional highway safety officers to patrol hazardous areas like I-16.
â€śThe additional officers will be assigned to motor carrier compliance regions in areas that have been identified as high crash corridors,â€ť Deal said.
However, you canâ€™t always rely on others to protect you â€“ it is critical that you also take steps to protect yourself. Read about driving practices that can help you navigate the road around trucks, and avoid becoming the victim of a life-changing crash, as well as what to do if the unthinkable does happen.
Fried Rogers Goldberg hopes you stay safe on the road. Nevertheless, if you or a loved one is hurt in a trucking accident, donâ€™t hesitate to ask us for help.