On Wednesday,a foggy morning, a horrific car accident involving 27 cars and large trucks ocurred near Jeffersonville in Laurens County on I-16, the main highway linking Atlanta to Savannah and is heavily used for commercial trucking between the cities. This unfortunate event happened in nightmarish sequence – first an 18-wheeler was hit by a fuel tanker, which ruptured and caught fire according to news reports.
Joseph White Jr. told reporters he was driving on I-16 and witnessed the initial tractor trailer crash. He described it, “I’m looking back and the tanker exploded. Pieces of the tanker flew toward me on the freeway, barely missing me. A piece of the tanker landed like 10 feet behind me as I was running. It almost fell on my head. … It was like a heat wave going over you. … I’m in the National Guard Army and it felt like being in Iraq with the fire and explosions.” Martha Strickland drove by later and also said, “It looked like a war zone.”
The Georgia State Patrol said that after the initial accident and explosion, separate chain-reaction accidents occurred as vehicles neared the crash site. As many as 10 other related accidents happened. Cars crashed into vehicles in front of them, and even if the drivers managed to avoid hitting something, other cars hit them as they tried to pull off the road. Police speculate that the early morning fog and the smoke from a nearby controlled brush fire contributed to the accidents by clouding drivers’ visibility until it was too late and they had to brake and swerve, eventually hitting other cars. The Georgia Department of Transportation stated that due to bad weather conditions on Wednesday, it sent workers to put up warning signs on the highway, but the workers arrived after the crash occurred.
Twenty-seven vehicles were involved, and seven of those were commercial vehicles. The initial crash was not the only one that caught fire – firefighters were battling numerous fires and described one crash involving six cars aflame. Four people died and nine were injured. The injured were taken to Fairview Park Hospital in Dublin. The hospital stated that eight of the injured were treated and released and one more severely injured person was transferred to a hospital in Macon. The four victims who died in this horrific crash were Joel Moore, on his way to a meeting with co-workers; Michael Smith, an experienced trucker driving his FedEx route; and Clayton and Josephine Warnock, a retired husband and wife heading to the doctor appointment in Atlanta.
Atlanta Car and Truck Accident Attorney
If you or a loved one has been injured in a vehicle crash by a negligent driver, the personal injury lawyers at Sammons & Carpenter may be able to help you understand your case and seek the compensation you need and deserve. Multiple vehicle crashes can be particularly complicated, but our attorneys are experienced with all manner of vehicle accidents. Contact our law office today at 404-814-8949, or fill out our confidential online case evaluation form for a free consultation.
[Image courtesy of Aaron Logan (from http://www.lightmatter.net/gallery/albums.php) [CC-BY-1.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/1.0)], via Wikimedia Commons]