We have recently posted the statistics on teen car accidents, particularly in the area of distracted driving. In a recent fatal accident in Athens, a young teen’s life has forever changed, but he will likely not be charged with causing the crash. The accident in Athens has ended in tragedy for two families. As a Georgia wrongful death lawyer, I have represented many families dealing with the passing of a loved one due to a vehicle crash or other serious accident. Fatal accidents are very difficult to cope with for victims families and for others involved, but the circumstances surrounding the Athens crash are unusually and terribly sad.
A couple was driving in the early evening this past Monday with their two children to visit Santa at a nearby mall. It was their wedding anniversary. Their vehicle, driven by the wife, was making a left turn on Timothy Road in Athens. Her husband and the kids’ dad, was sitting in the passenger seat.
As the vehicle was turning left, it was struck by a teen driving through the intersection. The crash hit the passenger side of the car and killed the husband. The wife told police that she did not see the oncoming vehicle driven by the teen. It is believed her ability to see the oncoming vehicle was made difficult due to a car that was making a left turn from the opposite direction.
By all reports the young teen is a wonderful young man. He had just completed his volunteering with his youth group and his nursing home job when the accident occurred.
As reported in the Banner-Herald the children sustained minor injuries, as did their mom. The teen had some minor injuries from his deployed air bag. But from the reports, this fine young man was “emotionally devastated by the fatal crash.” One of the saddest parts of this tragedy is that the couple was celebrating their wedding anniversary and the boys birthdays are just before Christmas as well.
The Official Code of Georgia section 40-6-71 provides that “[t]he driver of a vehicle intending to turn to the left within an intersection or into an alley, private road, or driveway shall yield the right of way to any vehicle approaching from the opposite direction which is within the intersection or so close thereto as to constitute an immediate hazard.” Intersections are very dangerous places. Accident rates are very high due to the turns being made and the risks of collision as happened in this tragic crash. If you cannot see around other vehicles in an intersection, do not turn. Wait until you can see that there are no vehicles coming towards your vehicle. Oncoming vehicles have the right of way and you must yield to them.