Atlanta motorists on I-285 were stopped for several hours in the eastbound direction in August 2012 after a fatal truck crash. The crash involved multiple vehicles and because there are conflicting accounts as to how the accident occurred, Cobb County authorities later returned to reconstruct the multiple-vehicle crash.
Before reopening the highway, authorities marked the area carefully so that they would be able to document the impact and distances traveled in the collisions involved in this crash. Then, in order to reconstruct the accident, they closed the highway again and returned to the scene with investigators and the Georgia Department of Transportation HERO (Highway Emergency Response Operators) units that are tasked with getting to accident scenes as quickly as possible.
The crash apparently involved 3 vehicles that, according to authorities, have been identified as a 2006 International semi tractor-trailer, a black 2006 Lexus GS430 and a black 1997 Toyota Tacoma pickup truck. Tragically, a passenger in the pickup truck—identified as Raul Maldonado-Lopez of Norcross—was killed as a result of the crash. The pickup rolled over several times in the accident, but the event that caused this is not yet fully understood.
In some accounts, it was said that one of the vehicles involved in this accident made an improper lane change which set off a series of events that resulted in the pickup rolling over. However, other witnesses stated that the passenger car and the tractor-trailer collided, which caused the car and the pickup to collide.
Schedule a free consultation with Atlanta truck accident lawyer Charles Scholle today.
Improper lane change and truck accidents
Although it’s sometimes difficult to ascertain which vehicle set off the series of events that resulted in a multiple vehicle crash, we do know that tractor-trailers and trucks are required to be particularly cautious when making lane changes. This is because their size and weight can quickly lead to a very dangerous situation.
For example, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration says that improper lane changing is another frequent violation of commercial drivers. Specifically, this is said to occur often in 2 circumstances:
- In heavy traffic where drivers attempt to “squeeze their vehicle between automobiles when overtaking slower traffic”, and
- “On the open highway and traveling at full speed, when [commercial motor vehicle] drivers fail to slow down for vehicles as they approach from the rear. This violation also occurs at high speed merge locations when the commercial vehicle driver fails to accurately gauge the vehicle’s position and speed during the merge maneuver. In addition, this violation also occurs when other vehicles are traveling in the commercial vehicle’s blind spot. This demonstrates the importance of signaling before attempting to change lanes.”
Crash statistics on Atlanta’s I-285
In 2013, Atlanta’s I-285 was named as the deadliest interstate in the country, with 3.5 fatal crashes per every 10-mile stretch.
The “Perimeter,” as it’s commonly known to locals, encompases nearly 64 miles of highway passing through Fulton, Cobb, DeKalb, and Clayton counties. An estimated 2 million people or more use this interstate each day, so it’s perhaps not all that surprising that this traffic hub is a source of many serious accidents each year.
In particular, the heavy traffic, the road’s sharp turns and interchanges, and the high concentration of tractor trailers that drive on the interstate make this highway especially deadly.
Some of the most dangerous exchanges and interchanges along I-285 include:
- Ga. 400
Accident reconstruction is an important step
Accident reconstruction is something with which Charles Scholle and his team are quite familiar. Many cases involving serious or fatal injury require the work of experts that specialize in accident reconstruction.
As catastrophic injury lawyers, we have been closely involved with accident reconstruction. One of the most important things we do as lawyers is to discover the facts in any given accident or case, and there are procedures for that in our legal system. But often, we also need to use the specialized knowledge of experts who can help us determine the facts based on scientific evidence or other specialized expertise.
Truck accident safety and next steps after a crash
When sharing the road with larger vehicles, use extreme caution. When traveling near large trucks and tractor-trailers, drive as defensively as possible. Assume that the larger vehicle cannot see you — and avoid traveling in a truck’s blind spot.
As an Atlanta, Georgia truck crash lawyer with offices throughout the area, Charles Scholle represents victims involved in truck accidents that have sustained injuries in all surrounding cities and counties, such as Cobb, Duluth, Fulton County, Grayson, Gwinnett County and more.