Our Atlanta vehicle accident lawyers saw a news story about an accident that happened just before Christmas. The accident happened in Cherokee County and involved three vehicles, one of which was a tractor trailer, a vehicle which this blog discusses often as a danger on the road if driven negligently. Tractor trailers weigh 16 times more than the average passenger vehicle. They also need the length of a football field to be able to come to a complete stop, which is dangerous if a situation requires sudden braking. As the story below shows, they are also difficult to manoeuvre and can cause problems simply by turning. In 2009, 1,200 people died from tractor trailer accidents in Georgia alone, almost all of which were travelling in much smaller and more vulnerable passenger cars, rather than the truck itself. The same year, 1.5 million tractor trailer accidents caused injury in the US, showing the scale of the problem on our roads.
On a Sunday morning shortly before Christmas, Louella Ann Barber, a 72-year-old woman from Canton, was driving her 2006 Nissan Pathfinder on Highway 20/ Knox Bridge Highway west of the Georgia National Cemetery. A tractor trailer was coming from the opposite direction driven by 40-year-old Roman A. Tinajero. The 18-wheel big rig was trying to get around a curve in the road, which can be difficult with such a large cumbersome vehicle. Mr. Tinajero overcorrected on the turn and crossed into oncoming traffic, hitting Ms. Barber’s Pathfinder head on. The tractor trailer jackknifed, and the Pathfinder flipped off the roadway. As this happened, 18-year-old Trevor Lee Moyer was driving his Toyota Corolla and couldn’t brake in time to avoid hitting the back of the tractor trailer as it came to a stop.
Georgia State Patrol Spokesman Gordy Wright told reporters that Ms. Barber was taken to Wellstar Kennestone Hospital in Marietta, where she was in critical condition. Two passengers in Mr. Moyer’s Corolla, 49-year-old Charles Moyer and 15-year-old Victor Moyer, were also taken to Wellstar Kennestone with injuries. Wright said that charges were pending the completion of the investigation into the crash. Mr. Tinajero has now been charged with failure to maintain a lane, driving too fast for conditions, and driving on the wrong side of the roadway.