Objects Falling Off Vehicles Can Cause Liability

Last month, a truck traveling on Georgia’s I-285 northbound near Washington Road carried a load that was not properly tied down. A ladder flew off the truck and into the road, causing a chain reaction car accident. First, one vehicle hit the ladder in the road, and then other vehicles, including a tractor trailer that ended up jack knifed on the road, hit the first vehicle, according to news reports.

Our Atlanta car accident attorneys know that this negligent truck driver could be both criminally and civilly liable for the accident and any damages caused, including the death of a west Georgia woman in the first vehicle and the injuring of two more victims, one of whom was transported to the hospital. The deceased woman, 59-year-old Alma Rowland-Johnson, was tragically just in the wrong place at the wrong time, and leaves behind a loving, grieving family. Col. Mark McDonough, Georgia Department of Public Safety Commissioner, made the same point to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, “Anytime that, because of your negligence, you cause the death of somebody, you can be held criminally liable. In this instance, the wrongful death of another is specifically tied to the (accident). That’s what is known as vehicular homicide.” 

After the accident, officials were still looking for the driver of the truck with the ladder. But Col. McDonough noted that he or she will probably be caught because of the ladder, saying, “Most things that have been purchased recently have a bar code that shows who bought it, when it was purchased and where it was purchased.” So, sloppy drivers should be aware the police can catch them even if they drive away from the scene.

Col. McDonough had good advice for drivers carrying loads, and advice that everyone should really pay attention to and follow, “If you’re hauling a load, make sure that you strap it down well. And if you’re on the highway or the road, don’t drive so close to other cars, and leave some room … leave a way out in case vehicles around you lose control, so you have a way to avoid a collision.” Ms. Rowland-Johnson’s sister, Brenda, also offered a plea for safety, “That’s hard to know that your sister is gone just because of something like that – somebody’s carelessness. That they didn’t take that extra time to make sure that it was strapped down and secure.” Just like with speeding and DUIs, these kinds of accidents are avoidable if drivers take proper care and are responsible.

Atlanta Car Accident Attorneys

If you or a loved one has been injured by a negligent driver, including through failure to secure his or her load as illustrated above, the personal injury attorneys at Sammons & Carpenter can help you understand your case and how to move forward. Our experienced attorneys may be able to help you get just compensation for your injuries or for a wrongful death. Contact our law office today at 404-991-5950, or fill out our confidential online case evaluation form for a free consultation.

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[Image Attribution: Logs are stacked on a flatbed truck c. 1945, author unknown, from Department of the Interior. Bureau of Indian Affairs. Minnesota Agency. (12/1954), via Wikimedia Commons.]