Fatal Georgia trucking accident leads to investigation

Louisiana residents may have heard of the accident that took place in Georgia on May 19, when a tractor-trailer collided with two cars and burst into flames on I-16 west of Savannah. The accident happened near the junction with I-95. There were multiple fatalities, including a 71- and 72-year-old couple in one car as well as a 39-year-old driver of another car and her 16- and 19-year-old passengers.

Witnesses to the crash reported seeing the tractor-trailer drift between lanes prior to the collision. Authorities began an investigation into whether the driver of the tractor-trailer fell asleep at the wheel, causing the fatal accident. However, police did not have enough information to verify this theory as fact as of May 20. According to State Patrol officials, the tractor-trailer sideswiped the first vehicle before colliding with the Hyundai being driven by the 39-year-old woman. The Hyundai was then knocked into the median and two of the deceased victims were ejected from the vehicle.

The first vehicle was crushed between the tractor-trailer and an eighteen-wheeler. The truck driver did not sustain any serious injuries in the crash and authorities have reported that they are refraining from filing charges until the investigation is complete. In addition to the fatalities, the accident damaged several vehicles and resulted in lane closures.

A commercial vehicle driver whose negligent actions lead to the death or injury of others may be held liable for any medical expenses and other financial damages sustained by the injured victims. The families of those who are killed may choose to file wrongful death lawsuits to recover damages for funeral expenses as well as other damages permitted by statute.

Source: ABC News, "Officials Probe Whether Trucker in Georgia Crash Fell Asleep", Russ Bynum, May 20, 2015

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