We hoped for a happy and safe holiday weekend for all Georgians this Thanksgiving. Unfortunately, the statistics are out now and 19 people were killed, with over 260 injured in holiday weekend accidents. Georgia’s Thanksgiving weekend last year saw 18 fatalities. All Georgians should take heed and be aware of the causes as we approach Christmas and New Year’s Eve next month. As a Gwinnett County injury lawyer, it saddens me to learn of these new reports on what happened in our area over the weekend.
The travel period for Thanksgiving is considered to be from the evening before Thanksgiving through the Sunday after Thanksgiving. The Georgia State Patrol was responsible for investigating over half of the fatal accidents. According to reports and a statement by the GSP, the main reasons for these accidents are alcohol, failure to wear seat belts and speed. One accident involved a single vehicle in Forsyth County and another involved a family in Norcross County. There is something remarkably common among these — all of them can be avoided.
Apparently, in four of the fatal accidents, alcohol is considered to be a factor that contributed to the crash. In seven of these fatal crashes, the victims failed to wear their safety belts. One of these accidents also involved a pedestrian.
As the holiday weekend began, a pedestrian accident was reported in Gwinnett County. Two pedestrians were found by a Gwinnett County police officer, having been seriously injured in what officials believe was a hit-and-run at Rockbridge Road and Stone Drive.
The hit and run is under investigation now. Official Code of Georgia Annotated section 40-6-270 provides that the driver of any vehicle that is involved in an accident resulting in injury to or the death of any person or in damage to a vehicle which is driven or attended by any person shall immediately stop such vehicle at the scene of the accident or shall stop as close thereto as possible and forthwith return to the scene of the accident…” This provision also states that: “If such accident is the proximate cause of death or a serious injury, any person knowingly failing to stop and comply with the requirements of subsection (a) of this Code section shall be guilty of a felony and, upon conviction thereof, shall be punished by imprisonment for not less than one nor more than five years.”
It is a felony to hit and run when death or serious injury are involved. Hit and run vehicles often have damage to them and officials are often able to connect the damage to the accident through family members or auto body shops that are on the look out for damage that would correlate to the injuries sustained. Very often, the vehicle tells the story.
When you or a loved one has been involved in a serious accident, getting help is essential to your recovery. But not all help is the same. At the Law Offices of P. Charles Scholle, P.C., we treat all clients as cases as they should be treated, with personal attention. Please contact me directly at any time for a free consultation about your situation.