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Driver Surrenders to Face Charges for Fatal Rush Hour Crash

As a Metro Atlanta auto accident lawyer, I was pleased to see that the driver allegedly responsible for three deaths in commuter traffic last week is facing the charges against him. According to an Oct. 20 article in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, driver James Miles surrendered to authorities at the DeKalb County Jail that day. Miles is accused of driving recklessly in the Oct. 13 incident, which caused the deaths of three Southern Co. employees in a nine-person commuter van. One other employee is hospitalized with a broken skull and leg. No injuries to Miles were reported.

The crash happened on U.S. 78 in DeKalb County. Witnesses say Miles, in a Dodge Stratus, was changing lanes in and out of traffic before he clipped the back of the Southern Co. van. The crash caused the van to flip it on its side, trapping the passengers and requiring rescue crews to remove the roof. Killed were the driver, Robert Harold Clinton Jr., 60; and two passengers, Ollie Benny Stephens Jr., 49, and Cindy Fitzgerald, 54. All were from Lilburn. Seriously injured was Courtney Hill, 25, also of Lilburn. Miles is now facing three counts of misdemeanor vehicular homicide, charges that some of the crash survivors said seemed light. Misdemeanor vehicular homicide is punishable by up to a year in jail for each offense. Felony vehicular homicide is punished more severely, but is reserved for cases of DUI, reckless driving or certain other offenses. A former district attorney told the newspaper that reckless driving can be difficult to prove.

I understand the frustration these survivors, who are co-workers and friends of the victims, may be feeling. As a Gwinnett County car wreck attorney, I see the results of careless driving through my work on a weekly basis. Even if a choice doesn’t meet the legal standards necessary for a felony vehicular homicide charge, that doesn’t mean it’s a safe, reasonable or necessary choice under the conditions on the road at that time. However, even if prosecutors’ hands are tied, surviving family members have another legal option for bringing the careless driver to justice: a Georgia auto accident lawsuit. With a legal claim, victims of a serious crash can hold the wrongdoer responsible for his or her actions and recover the costs the accident caused.


The Law Offices of P. Charles Scholle represents people throughout Metro Atlanta and surrounding communities who were seriously hurt by someone else’s carelessness on the road. We have nearly 15 years of experience securing financial compensation for people who were hurt through no fault of their own. Our Georgia car crash lawyers understand all too well that a lawsuit can never reverse injuries or bring back someone who was lost in a bad accident. But in many cases, those terrible physical injuries are followed shortly by very high medical bills, loss of income from not working and other costs directly caused by the crash. This can destroy a family’s savings and put victims under serious financial and emotional strain. A lawsuit passes the financial impact of an accident back where it belongs — to the person whose irresponsible driving caused it in the first place.

If this sounds like your family’s situation and you’d like to know more, the Law Offices of P. Charles Scholle can help. To set up a free, no-obligation consultation, please call us toll-free at 1-866-972-5287 (770-717-5100 in Gwinnett County) or contact us through our Web site.

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