Semi-trailer trucks are a common sight on the roads of Arkansas, and motorists have good reason to be particularly vigilant in their vicinity. The thought of one of these large commercial vehicles traveling with a sleep-deprived driver behind the wheel is a terrifying one, but this is what may have caused a fatal accident in Georgia on May 19 according to authorities. A Georgia State Patrol representative said that the cause of the crash is still under investigation, but he added that a sleeping truck driver is one theory that was being considered.
The fatal truck collision took place near Savannah on Interstate 16. Witnesses to the crash say that the semi was drifting between lanes immediately prior to striking two vehicles near the junction of Interstate 16 and Interstate 95. Police say that traffic had been stopped due to construction at the time of the crash. According to an accident report, the semi sideswiped a car before striking a sedan driven by a 39-year-old woman. The truck then struck a second vehicle.
The woman behind the wheel of the sedan was killed in the accident along with her 16-year-old female and 19-year-old male passengers. The 71-year-old man and 72-year-old woman traveling in the second vehicle struck by the truck also lost their lives. The truck driver was not injured. Authorities say that seven vehicles sustained damage in the crash.
Trucking companies operate in a highly competitive market with tight schedules. While the cause of this accident may still be unknown, many such collisions are the result of fatigued truck drivers struggling to meet strict deadlines imposed by their employers. Injured victims may consider filing a personal injury lawsuit against such a driver seeking damages for the losses that have been sustained. In some cases, the trucking company itself may also be held responsible under the theory of vicarious liability.
Source: ABC News, “Officials Probe Whether Trucker in Georgia Crash Fell Asleep”, Russ Bynum, May 20, 2015