Vehicular Homicide Charges for Fatal Car Crash

Our Atlanta car accident attorneys know that car accidents are dangerous, and too often fatal. Reckless driving can cause the death of innocent people who happen to be in the wrong place at the wrong time, and often destroy more than one life. Sometimes these accidents give rise to criminal charges, as was the case in a fatal accident in Villa Rica last summer.

Mazda Tribute

On August 5, 2013, 42 year old Helen Lamar Rushton caused a car accident on Highway 166 near Villa Rica due to reckless driving under the influence of amphetamines. She was east of Mallard Drive when her car hit two oncoming vehicles with her 2003 Mazda Tribute. The accident occurred as she crossed the center lane to try to pass a tractor trailer in a no passing zone, driving faster than the posted speed limit. The accident that August evening injured 69 year old James Dee Mount. He was taken to the hospital but died several days later from his injuries at Atlanta Medical Center. The driver of the other car hit was 18 year old Grey Quinton Lyons from Carrollton.

After the accident, Ms. Rushton called 46 year old Sherry Maxine Carney. Ms. Carney came to the scene of the accident and picked up Ms. Rushton, according to the Georgia State Patrol and Carroll County Sheriff’s Office. The two women left the scene allegedly without reporting the accident.

Both women have now been indicted by a Carroll County grand jury for the accident that took Mr. Mount’s life in the hit and run, totaling nine counts between them in the formal charging document. Ms. Rushton is charged with three counts of homicide by vehicle, including one charge for leaving the scene, one charge for driving under the influence, and one charge for reckless driving and improper passing. Ms. Carney has been charged with one count of homicide by vehicle for allegedly helping Ms. Rushton leave the scene of the accident. Ms. Carney is also charged with making a false statement, because she told the police that she picked Ms. Rushton up in order to take her for medical treatment at Tanner Medical Center in Villa Rica, which she did not do. She is also charged with criminal attempt to tamper with evidence because police allege she called a wrecker service to tow Ms. Rushton’s Mazda while the crash was still be investigated by the authorities. Both women are scheduled to be arraigned by Judge Dennis Blackmon on Thursday, April 24.

Atlanta Car Accident Attorneys

If a negligent driver on the road has hurt you or a loved one, contact an experienced personal injury lawyer. To discuss the specifics of your case and any steps to move forward in legal avenues to get any needed compensation to help your family through the difficult time, contact the Law Office of Sammons & Carpenter as soon as possible at 404-814-8948, or fill out our confidential online case evaluation form for a free consultation today.

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Fatal Motorcycle Crash

Our Atlanta motorcycle accident lawyers read about another fatal motorcycle accident that happened in Georgia recently. These fatalities are all too common, and often due to reckless driving behaviors, either by the motorcyclist or the driver of the other vehicle involved.

Motorcycle

Over the past weekend, on Saturday afternoon at 4:54 p.m., Forest Tecumseh Garret, a 21-year-old man from Clarksville, was driving his 2004 Yamaha YZF R6 motorcycle on Riverbend Road near Georgia Highway 105. He had Kelli Nicole Campbell, a 23-year-old also from Clarksville, as a passenger on his motorcycle. He tried to pass a 2008 Nissan Altima, even though he was in a no-passing zone, according to Trooper Casey Coffee of the Georgia State Patrol. The Altima, driven by Melissa Ann Wallace, a 28-year-old from Eastanollee, was trying to turn left into a driveway. As it turned, the Altima was hit on the driver’s side by the Yamaha motorcycle. The impact caused the motorcycle to overturn and run off the south side of Riverbend Road, running into bushes. Mr. Garret and Ms. Campbell were both thrown from the motorcycle. Mr. Garret was taken to Habersham Medical Center, but he died of his injuries from the crash and was pronounced dead on his arrival at the hospital. Ms. Campbell was seriously injured and airlifted to Atlanta Medical Center. The Altima also ran off the south side of the road, hitting a signpost and buses. But Ms. Wallace did not need medical treatment, according to Trooper Coffee.

Another young man, Michael Neil Young, a 23-year-old from Canton, died in a motorcycle accident last week as well. According to Gordy Wright, spokesperson for the Georgia State Patrol, Mr. Young was driving his 2006 Honda CBR motorcycle eastbound on Georgia 20. He ran off the road near Weeks Road and smashed into a tree and then into a building around 5:30 p.m. on a Sunday evening. Mr. Wright told reporters that alcohol was not suspected in the accident. Mr. Young died of his injuries from the crash.

Atlanta Motorcycle Accident Attorneys

If you or a loved one has been hurt in a vehicle accident, whether with a motorcycle, car, or large commercial tractor trailer, contact an experienced personal injury lawyer. Between 2007 and 2011, there was an average of 152 deaths from motorcycle accidents per year in Georgia, 15 of which were due to a lack of a helmet. Motorcycles are more vulnerable than other vehicles on the road and extra caution is needed due to this vulnerability, which is something that all drivers must be aware of on our roads, especially as summer is coming and more motorcycles, bicycles and pedestrians will be out. To discuss the specifics of your case and any steps to move forward in legal avenues to get any needed compensation to help your family through the difficult time, contact the Law Office of Sammons & Carpenter as soon as possible at 404-814-8948, or fill out our confidential online case evaluation form for a free consultation today.

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Local Pastor Killed in DUI

Our Atlanta car accident attorneys read a recent news story about a local pastor in Bartow County who was killed recently in a DUI.

Mercedes Benz Logo

The accident happened just after a Sunday night celebration at the Thankful Baptist Church, a more than hundred year old church where Reverend Nim Russell worked in Rome. That Sunday was a celebration of the 23rd anniversary of Russell being the pastor of that church. On his way home, around 8:30pm, Reverend Russell and his wife, Julia, were driving in their 2007 Mercedes Benz E350 when they were in a car accident on Highway 140 near Big Oak Tree Road near the Floyd County line. Reverend Russell, who was 55 years old and had three children and 11 grandchildren, was killed when his car was hit head on by a pickup truck driven westbound by Michele Blum, a 47 year old from Adairsville. Her truck, a 2014 Dodge Ram 1500, crossed the center lane and smashed into the Russell’s car. Mrs. Russell was injured and was taken to the hospital, but does not have life threatening injuries. Still, she has undergone two operations at Chattanooga’s Erlanger Hospital and as of a day after her husband’s death, she hadn’t been told. Blum was also hospitalized at Rome’ Floyd Medical Center, as was Charles Louis Blum III, a passenger in the truck. Blum was charged with a DUI, first degree vehicular homicide, driving on the wrong side of the road and driving without headlights.

According to associate pastor, Reverend Carlton Gibson, “[Reverend Russell] loved his wife dearly. He had two daughters that he loved dearly, a son he loved dearly and those grand babies. He really loved those grand babies. He really was a family person.” The congregation at Thankful Baptist was in shock, according to Reverend Gibson. But members say that, in Reverend Russell’s spirit, they have forgiven Blum for the accident. A member of the church, Yolunda Hambrick, said, “He’s taught me to love in spite of, regardless of how I may be feeling about anyone.” She went on to say, “If I continue upon the teachings that he’s taught me, then I will see my pastor again; I will see my pastor again.” Reverend Gibson echoed that sentiment, telling reporters, “We are lifting her up in prayer. We are praying for her and we have forgiven her because that’s what Pastor Russell teaches us.  Just like God has forgiven us for our mistakes and our sins, we forgive her.”

Atlanta Car Accident Attorneys

If you or a loved one has been involved in a vehicle crash due to another’s negligent or reckless driving, contact an experienced personal injury lawyer. To discuss the specifics of your case and any steps to move forward in legal avenues to get any needed compensation to help your family through the difficult time, contact the Law Office of Sammons & Carpenter as soon as possible at 404-814-8948, or fill out our confidential online case evaluation form for a free consultation today.

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Fatal Motorcycle Crashes

Our Atlanta motorcycle accident lawyers saw a recent story about a fatal motorcycle crash in Baldwin County. And that recent accident was not the only tragic motorcycle accident story in Georgia this past month.

motorcycle

Last Sunday in the early morning, Ronald Wright was on his motorcycle travelling west on Meriweather Road, half a mile from Georgia Highway 441, in Baldwin County. Mr. Wright was going around a curve in the road and for an unknown reason crossed into the eastbound lane where he crashed into the passenger side bumper and fender of a Jeep. The motorcycle then went 24 feet off the road and Mr. Wright was thrown off and landed 41 feet away. His chest was crushed and the crash broke his neck, and he died on the scene from his injuries. His helmet was old and the chin strap broke during the accident, according to Georgia State Trooper Michael Screws. He also said there was a faint odor of alcohol on Mr. Wright, which was also noticed by a good Samaritan who stopped and performed CPR on Mr. Wright after the accident. Trooper Screws said results of a blood test for alcohol won’t be available for weeks, however. The Jeep had a driver and a passenger, as well.

Mr. Wright’s accident is unfortunately is not a unique occurrence. Motorcycles are more vulnerable and often crashes cause serious injuries or death, which is something to remember as the weather gets better and more motorcycles are on the road. Earlier this month, a three-vehicle crash in Douglas County killed a motorcyclist, as well. The motorcyclist was going north on Georgia 5 when it hit the rear end of a stopped 2005 Chevrolet Equinox. The motorcycle then swerved into the southbound lane and hit a 2003 Dodge Ram pickup truck head on. The motorcyclist died at the scene of injuries, while the other drivers of the Equinox and the pickup truck suffered no injuries.

Even if a motorcyclist has proper safety gear, like an approved helmet, motorcycle accidents are still incredibly dangerous. Also earlier this month, Mark Coulombe, a 48 year old from Kingsland, was on a Harley-Davidson motorcycle on US 17, with an approved helmet. He hit the back of a 1998 Chevrolet pickup truck driven by 25 year old Allison Elise Waye when she slowed to make a turn onto Billyville road. Mr. Couloumbe’s motorcycle slid 108 feet on the road before stopping. He was taken to the hospital by EMS on the scene, but died of his injuries.

Atlanta Motorcycle Accident Attorneys

If you or a loved one has been injured in a vehicle accident, including with commercial trucks or motorcycles, contact an experienced personal injury lawyer. These accidents are all too common and discouraging negligent or reckless driving is important. To discuss the specifics of your case and any steps to move forward in legal avenues to get needed compensation, contact the Law Office of Sammons & Carpenter as soon as possible at 404-814-8948, or fill out our confidential online case evaluation form for a free consultation today.

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Fiery Tractor Trailer Crash

Our Atlanta tractor trailer accident attorneys saw a news story last week about a fiery crash involving no less than four tractor trailers.

Fire

The crash occurred in the far right lane of I-20 as trucks slowed down for the exit to the weigh station between Lee Road and Thornton Road on Thursday afternoon, March 13. The first truck slowed down and then the second truck smashed into the rear of the first truck. It caused a chain reaction with the third truck hitting the second truck, and the fourth truck hitting the third truck.

Sergeant Keith Smalley, field operations sergeant with the state patrol’s motor carrier compliance division, said although trucks were slowing down, traffic was not stopped.  He said, “According to state patrol investigating agency, they were actually moving at about a 25 to 30 mile-per-hour pace.” He also said that road construction in the area had disabled the electronic system that tells drivers when the weigh station is full, but that a manual system was still in place at the time. An eye witness, Benjamin Jefferson, was stuck in the traffic that resulted. He drove up to the accident scene soon after it happened. “There was all sorts of thick black smoke going up in flames way up into the trees. That went on for about 15 minutes and then the fire people sort of got it under control,” he told reporters.

The driver in the second truck had to be pulled to safety, according to Douglas County spokesman Wes Tallon. That driver was identified as 59 year old Alan Harrison from Lawrenceville. He was saved by nine good Samaritans and two firefighters who pulled him out of his truck after it caught on fire from the accident. Mr. Tallon said, “The driver’s clothing was on fire when he was rescued.” Because of the debris from this crash, the ambulance carrying Mr. Harrison had to drive with a flat tire all the way to Grady Memorial Hospital in Atlanta. He was in serious but stable condition. The drivers of the other three trucks involved were treated by emergency workers on the scene.

Investigators had to shut down I-20 eastbound for several hours to clear the debris and the spilled diesel fuel. Drivers were being routed to the Lee Road exit and told to use side streets. The road was finally cleared by about 6:30 in the evening, according to the Georgia Department of Transportation. Charges might be filed in the accident, according to Georgia State Patrol, but it is still under investigation.

Atlanta Tractor Trailer Accident Attorneys

If you or a loved one has been injured in a car or tractor trailer crash, contact a personal injury lawyer with experience in different types of vehicle accident and personal injury cases. To discuss the specifics of your case and any steps to move forward in legal avenues, contact the Law Office of Sammons & Carpenter as soon as possible at 404-814-8948, or fill out our confidential online case evaluation form for a free consultation today.

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