63-year-old Gary Pittman was fatally struck by a tractor trailer on I-20 in McDuffie County Sunday, September 28, 2014.
The Augusta Chronicle reports an eastbound Advance Disposal sanitation truck lost its load around 8:30pm Sunday, blocking the right lane eastbound lane near the Thomson-Washington Road exit. Apparently, Mr. Pittman was traveling behind the sanitation truck when his car ran over a piece of the fallen debris and became disabled. Mr. Pittman was reportedly struck by a tractor trailer while standing outside of his vehicle. Emergency crews transported the victim to University Hospital McDuffie where he later perished from injuries.
Per media reports, charges are pending in connection with the accident.
Our Legal Take
The Murray Law Firm is following the accident closely and questions whether speed or distraction were factors in the tractor trailer’s alleged failure to stop, slow or move-over for Mr. Pittman. The firm is also questioning the initial cause of the debris spill.
How fast was the tractor trailer driving as he approached the accident scene and distressed motorists? Was excessive speed a factor in his failure to stop or slow as he passed Mr. Pittman, his vehicle, the debris, and the sanitation truck?
Do cellphone records and traffic surveillance footage indicate whether the tractor trailer driver was engaged in digital distractions, such as a cellphone, digital log or gps?
What security measures were in place to keep debris from falling out of the Advance Disposal sanitation truck? How did these safety precautions fail? Was spill due to improper loading or a mechanical malfunction?
Should the tractor trailer or sanitation truck drivers be found at fault in this accident, the family of Gary Pittman may elect to hold the truck owners and operators civilly liable in his wrongful death. Further claims may also be filed with the sanitation truck manufacturer, should a mechanical failure have contributed to this crash. Claims of this magnitude will demand both the trucking and sanitation companies reevaluate vehicle safety features and employee training. By implementing frequent vehicle inspections and proper driver safety training, many other lives may be spared.
Unfortunately, insurance companies and trucking companies are often more concerned with limiting their financial exposure than protecting victims and their families. As such, photographs and a thorough inspection of the roadway, all vehicles, surveillance footage, and cellphone records will need to be performed immediately before any evidence is repaired, damaged or destroyed. The Pittman family should retain an experienced personal injury firm without delay to ensure all evidence is preserved and their best interests are protected.
The Murray Law Firm has extensive experience in protecting victims of distracted and negligent drivers and we offer our legal expertise, if needed. Anyone seeking further information or legal representation is encouraged to contact us at 706.494.2800. Consultations are free and confidential.