Pennsylvania Truck Driver Charged in Georgia Head-On Crash on I-59
DADE COUNTY, GA. – A Pennsylvania truck driver has been criminally charged in connection with a fatal head-on collision that occurred November 16, 2018 on Interstate 59 in Georgia.*
Reports indicate that a semi-truck traveling on I-59 in Dade County, Georgia, crossed the median and crashed into another semi-truck head-on. Dade County Sheriff’s deputies said one driver was entrapped in the cab of his semi when they arrived at the scene, and the other driver was walking around the scene.
The driver who was entrapped died in the crash. He has been identified as 44-year-old Ralph Elam, of Tillman, South Carolina. The driver of the other truck, 37-year-old Gustavo Rodriguez-Pagan, of Pennsylvania, was arrested at the scene and charged with homicide by vehicle, driving under the influence, driving on the wrong side of the road, failure to maintain a lane, and driving in the emergency lane/median.
The accident is still under investigation, and no additional information has been released at this time.
In 2017, the rate of drunk driving fatalities in the United States was 3.3 per 100,000 population, according to a report from responsibility.org. This figure represents a 64 percent decline since 1982, when record-keeping first began. It also represents a 47 percent decrease since 1991, when The Foundation for Advancing Alcohol Responsibility was founded.
While the decreases are indicative of progress in the fight against drunk driving, more work needs to be done. Drunk driving accidents still accounted for almost 30 percent of all traffic fatalities in the United States in 2017. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports that more than 10,874 people died in 2017 in alcohol-related crashes. Sixty-seven percent of those crashes involved drivers with BACs of .15 or greater (nearly double the legal limit).
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