We have posted in the past about the necessity to move over for workers on the roads and for emergency vehicles. Even while driving on country roads, when an emergency vehicle is behind us or even coming towards us, the law and common sense requires that we pull to the shoulder and stop as soon as feasible.
This past week a tragic accident occurred in Irwin County, Georgia that reminds us all of the necessity to pull over for emergency responders and the terrible consequences of failing to do so. In my work over the past two decades as a Gwinnett County truck injury lawyer, I have represented many victims and families of those harmed while sharing the road with a large truck.
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution and USA Today report that two paramedics and their patient died in a crash on two-lane Georgia highway 32. Apparently, a tractor-trailer and a passenger car were traveling the westbound lane. An ambulance carrying a patient was traveling eastbound with its siren sounding and lights flashing. When the car pulled over for the ambulance which was approaching from the opposite lane, the tractor-trailer jack-knifed across both lanes, including the one in which the ambulance was driving. The ambulance crashed into the jack-knifed truck that was in its lane. Tragically, the paramedics and the patient died in the crash.
The accident is now under investigation by the Georgia State Patrol. This crash requires the use of the Specialized Crash Reconstruction Team which involves specially trained investigators that will be looking into the cause or causes of this tragic accident. It is possible that charges will be filed once the investigation is concluded and this team is well-versed in documentation required for court evidence and prosecution of those responsible for fatal crashes such as this one.
As readers know, trucks can be involved in serious and dangerous accidents because they are large and heavy. They have a high center of gravity and also have reduced braking efficiencies. Due to these factors, it is critical that these vehicles drive at the speed limit or below it depending on the weather and other circumstances.
It is also very important that truck drivers drive with sufficient distance from the vehicle it is following to stop or pull over in circumstances that are unexpected. Stopping distances are much greater than those of a passenger vehicle. If you are on the road and you are being tailgated by a truck, the situation could become very dangerous in an accident or other unanticipated circumstances as happened here.
If you or a loved one has been injured in a truck accident, you need support and guidance. I can provide that guidance free of charge if you simply contact me directly at my law offices for an assessment of your situation.