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Fatal Pedestrian Accident Involving Dangerous Marietta Roadway

February 24, 2012

A woman who lost her son in a tragic fatal pedestrian accident last April faced the possibility of up to three years in prison for the Georgia jaywalking accident that resulted in the tragic death of her son.

Rachel Nelson’s story is a cautionary tale for those who live in an area of Atlanta that has been identified as among the most dangerous roadways in Georgia for pedestrians by the Transportation in America blog. The hit-and-run driver in the fatal Cobb County pedestrian accident had been drinking and had taken painkillers on the night of the fatal pedestrian crash. The driver had two previous convictions for hit-and-run.

Nelson was jaywalking with her children that tragic night which is why she was charged with reckless conduct, improperly crossing a roadway and second-degree homicide by vehicle each of which is a misdemeanor punishable by up to 12 months in prison. This is only part of the story. Nelson and her son and daughter regularly relied on public transportation, as do many others in this poor area of Marietta. The working mother and student were late getting home because they had missed their bus.

When they got off the bus well after dark, they had a choice to walk the three tenths of a mile to the closest crosswalk or simply cross the six lane highway to their apartment directly across from the bus stop. While it is not safe to cross the highway along this dangerous stretch of roadway, it is a common practice because the bus stop is located a long distance from crosswalks. The night of the fatal Marietta pedestrian accident, Nelson and her children waited in the suicide lane (median) in the middle of the highway as they crossed halfway along with others who got off the bus. While others crossed the rest of the way, Nelson waited with her children on the median until she felt it was safe to proceed. When Nelson’s son saw others crossing, he proceeded out into the roadway and pulled loose from his mom. His mom went after him, but the boy was hit and killed.

While Nelson may have made a mistake, it is unrealistic to believe that pedestrians will not continue to cross this busy stretch of highway. The Transportation in America blog shows a photo of the stretch of highway where Nelson crossed, as evidence city planners are guilty of "poor planning and dangerous designs." This stretch of roadway is an example of how poor road design can play a critical role in causing a fatal Georgia pedestrian accident.

Jaywalking in Georgia is sometimes legal and sometimes not, depending on the configuration of the street, the markings on the road and the city in which the jaywalking or alleged jaywalking occurred. Because of this confusion, Georgia pedestrian accident victims who are struck by a vehicle while jaywalking or allegedly jaywalking are sometimes reluctant to pursue a claim for damages. However, poor roadway planning or design by a public entity may mean that the public entity is liable for the injuries of you or your loved one. The Georgia pedestrian accident lawyers at Montlick and Associates have been representing those injured in Georgia pedestrian accidents for over 37 years including those who have been alleged to be jaywalking.

Our Georgia pedestrian auto accident lawyers are available to assist clients throughout all of Georgia and the Southeast, including but not limited to Albany, Athens, Atlanta, Augusta, Columbus, Gainesville, Macon, Marietta, Rome, Roswell, Savannah, Smyrna, Valdosta, Warner Robins and 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 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.