66-year-old Linwood Gantt, Jr. was killed in an I-75 accident with a disabled tractor trailer Wednesday, August 27, 2014.
According to The Macon Telegraph, Mr. Gantt was traveling northbound in a utility vehicle on I-75, south of Hartley Bridge Road, shortly before 10:00am Wednesday morning. He came upon a disabled tractor trailer stopped in the middle of the highway. Mr. Gantt was unable to stop or swerve in time and drove directly into the back of the tractor trailer.
Witness Brandon Thompson was driving directly behind Mr. Gantt at the time of the accident. She told officers she did not see any hazard lights as she approached the disabled Nestle company truck and did not realize it was stopped until Mr. Gantt crashed his utility truck into the back of the tractor trailer. Ms. Brandon was able to slow to a stop behind him. She and emergency crews tried to assist Mr. Gantt. Tragically, he perished at the scene.
Officers are still investigating why the Nestle truck was left disabled in the roadway without hazard lights. Ms. Thompson believes the tractor trailer may have struck part of another truck left on the highway.
Our Legal Take
The Murray Law Firm is following the accident closely and questions why the Nestle truck was stopped in the middle of a highway, apparently without caution signals.
Was the vehicle disabled due to a mechanical malfunction and, if so, when did the Nestle company last inspect and service the vehicle?
What attempts, if any, were made by the Nestle truck driver to warn approaching vehicles prior to the accident? Were hazard lights on, caution triangles placed behind the vehicle, police called? What guidelines and training does Nestle provide to their drivers to handle dangerous situations, such as this?
Was part of another vehicle abandoned in the roadway and, if so, what attempts were made by that driver to have the vehicle safely removed and flagged?
Should the operator of the Nestle truck be found at fault, the family of Linwood Gantt, Jr. may elect to hold the operator civilly liable for his wrongful death. Should previous vehicle debris have contributed to the tractor trailer’s break-down, additional claims may be filed against the operator of that vehicle. Additionally, claims may be filed with the Nestle corporation, should poor vehicle maintenance or a lack of vehicle inspections and driver emergency training have contributed to this tragedy. Finally, if Mr. Gantt was working at the time of his death, his family would almost certainly be entitled to workers’ compensation benefits as well.
Given the complexity and magnitude of these claims, it is imperative the Gantt family seek an experienced personal injury and workers’ compensation firm without delay to ensure all evidence is preserved and their best interests are protected. Corporations and insurance companies are often more concerned with limiting their financial exposure than protecting victims and their families.
Photographs and a thorough inspection of the tractor trailer, road debris and traffic surveillance footage will need to be performed on behalf of the family immediately, before any evidence, such as a mechanical maintenance issue, may be repaired, damaged or destroyed.
The Murray Law Firm works tirelessly to protect victims of trucking company negligence and catastrophic work-related accidents. We offer our legal expertise, if needed. Anyone seeking further information or legal representation is encouraged to contact us at 478.246.1010.