The driver of a delivery van was reportedly injured when a tractor trailer attempted to pass a low clearance bridge on Highway 29 in Grantville Saturday afternoon, November 1, 2014.
According to The Newnan Times-Herald, an eastbound tractor trailer attempted to pass under a railroad bridge when the backhoe it was transporting struck the trestle and fell from the truck. A dislocated backhoe wheel apparently rolled into oncoming westbound traffic, colliding with a delivery van.
The delivery van driver reportedly suffered severe injuries during the crash. He was airlifted to the hospital shortly after 12:30pm. His current condition has not been released.
Grantville resident, Patti Palmer, allegedly told media the bridge has “caused problems” in the past due to the steep angle the road hits the train trestle on one side. Several other local residents also commented on clearance issues with the bridge on the Newnan Times-Herald Facebook page.
Our Legal Take
Given the alleged history of accidents at this bridge, The Murray Law Firm is questioning whether railroad or city officials have attempted to remedy this potentially fatal stretch of roadway.
Does the train trestle meet government railway regulations and highway safety requirements? Following previous accidents, what actions were taken by city and railroad officials to examine the safety of this passing, particularly on the side of the angled roadway?
Is the bridge clearance properly marked and does this measurement allow for the elevated roadway at one end? Was the tractor trailer driver aware of his vehicle and cargo height at the time of the accident?
Should the tractor trailer driver be found at fault for failing to heed proper clearance requirements, the injured victim and his family may elect to hold the truck owner and operator civilly liable for his injuries. Given the history of accidents at this intersection, additional charges may also be filed with the railway should their negligence have contributed to this accident. Finally, if the delivery van driver was working at the time of the accident, he and his family are almost certainly entitled to substantial workers’ compensation benefits per Georgia law.
Total recovery may be in the millions of dollars and will demand highway and railroad officials reevaluate the safety of this passing. Claims of this magnitude will also send a much-needed message to trucking companies throughout the state on the need for their drivers to know clearance requirements of their vehicles and cargo prior to driving on public roadways.
Given the complexity of this case, the injured victim and his family should retain a firm experienced in both personal injury and workers’ compensation immediately to ensure all evidence is preserved and their best interests are protected.
The Murray Law Firm has extensive experience in protecting victims of catastrophic accidents, such as this, and we offer our legal expertise, if needed. Anyone seeking further information or legal representation is encouraged to contact us at 404.842.1600. Consultations are free and confidential.