Disabled Vehicle Collision in Morrow Proves Fatal for Siblings Changing a Tire


September 16, 2013

If you have ever experienced a tire blowout or engine stall while traveling on a highway, you know that being stranded in a disabled vehicle can be frightening and dangerous.  Although the risk of an auto collision is even higher if you are unable to safely maneuver your vehicle off to the shoulder and away from moving traffic, there are many people who suffer permanent life-changing injuries or lose loved ones after being struck by another vehicle while waiting for emergency assistance on the side of the roadway.

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution (AJC) recently reported a fatal collision in Morrow that serves as a sad reminder of the potentially devastating consequences of driver inattention or carelessness when approaching a disabled car.  Two adult siblings were struck by a vehicle that was entering I-75 in Morrow as the brother and sister struggled to change a tire.  Although the siblings had pulled into the area between where the on-ramp and highway merge, they were still hit by the other driver.  The sister died at the scene while the brother later passed away at the hospital from fatal injuries suffered in the crash.

Although the accident is still under investigation, these types of accidents often result in permanent injury and pose complex legal issues.  The fatal crash resulted in multiple chain-reaction crashes because of the obstructions in the roadway and disruption in the flow of traffic caused by the original collision.  Although drivers have a legal duty to exercise diligence in noticing and responding to roadside emergencies like disabled cars, an attentive driver may still have difficulty responding to this type of sudden unanticipated hazard.  If there is a substantial amount of traffic congestion, this may limit a driver’s evasive options in terms of swerving or changing lanes because of insufficient clearance.  When multiple vehicles approach the site of a collision or disabled vehicle, the driver in the second car that is approaching the scene may not be able to see the disabled vehicle until the first car approaching the vehicle changes lanes to avoid the collision.  This means that the driver of the second car has even less response time.

The complications posed by multiple parties and their insurance carriers, several chain reaction collisions and claims by insurance companies that the victim did not act prudently when the vehicle became disabled can make these cases challenging.  The unique risk posed when a vehicle or driver needs police or emergency medical attention because of a collision, engine trouble or tire failure provided the impetus for Georgia to enact a move-over law.  The Georgia Move-Over Law is intended to protect police conducting a traffic stop or others providing emergency assistance.  Unfortunately, some drivers fail to move into adjacent lanes to make a crash scene safe for those who are stranded or rendering aid.

If you or someone you love has been injured during a collision, while changing a tire, or while your vehicle was otherwise disabled, our Georgia accident attorneys at Montlick and Associates are available to provide effective legal representation to those throughout all of Georgia and the Southeast, including all smaller cities and rural areas in the state. 

No matter where you are located our attorneys are just a phone call away, and we will even come to you. Call us 24 hours a day/7 days a week for your Free Consultation at 1-800-LAW-NEED (1-800-529-6333).  You can also visit us online at www.montlick.com and use our Free Case Evaluation Form or 24-hour Live Online Chat.

Category: Auto Accidents

Please Note:
Many of our blog articles discuss the law. All information provided about the law is very general in nature and should not be relied upon as legal advice. Every situation is different, and should be analyzed by a lawyer who can provide individualized advice based on the facts involved in your unique situation, and a consideration of all of the nuances of the statutes and case law that apply at the time.