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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Georgia Based Bus Company Shut Down

Our Atlanta vehicle accident attorneys read about a bus company based in Atlanta that has been shut down for safety problems with both its vehicles and drivers.

Bus Window

An Atlanta-based bus company has been shut down for failing to ensure the safety of its vehicles and drivers, according to a federal agency. The company, STSC Transportation Services Inc., provides routes between Philadelphia and New York City for $10 one way and $20 round trip. It started in July 2013 and had eight daily trips between the cities. It now has to stop all passenger operations by order of the US Transportation Department’s Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration because they were endangering the safety of the public. This includes a halt to all interstate and intrastate operations. The reasons for the order to stop operations was a lack of systematic inspections, repairs and maintenance on the buses, failing to test drivers for alcohol and drug use, not ensuring drivers were properly qualified and licensed, and not maintaining proper safety records, which should have been at STSC’s registered Atlanta address.

The Department of Transportation found violations beginning in November 2013. Specifically, STSC was cited six times during inspections for operating buses that were placed out of service for safety reasons. STSC also did not provide records of annual inspections, maintenance and repairs on its buses, and inspections also showed emergency exits that could not be opened. There were no required random drug and alcohol tests for drivers performed. STSC also did not adhere to federal regulations on hours of work to prevent drivers that are too tired. In failing to adhere, the company also has missing or falsified records on duty status.

Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx said, “Safety is our top priority and we will continue to use every means available to ensure everyone on our roads and highways reaches their destinations safely. This includes shutting down unsafe bus companies that ignore vitally important safety rules.” Additionally, Anne Ferro, the Administrator of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, said, “FMCSA investigators work diligently across the country to prevent crashes from occurring by shutting down bus companies that put their passengers and the public at risk. In the past three years, we have more than tripled the number of dangerous companies and drivers we have taken off the road and we will continue taking aggressive action against carriers that disregard our safety standards.”

STSC Transportation Services’ December posting on Twitter said it was closed and under new management.

Atlanta Driving Law Attorneys

If you or a loved one has been injured because of an unsafe vehicle or driver, 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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