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Multiple Fatalities in Church Bus Collision, including Atlanta Truck Driver

An Atlanta truck driver was among the victims in an accident that occurred on Interstate 40 in Jefferson County this week involving three vehicles, which lead to eight deaths, and at least fourteen people injured.

The accident happened when a church bus reportedly crossed over the median of the interstate and collided with two other vehicles, a tractor trailer and an SUV, travelling in the opposite direction. Police officers said in a statement that the bus crossed over the median after its front left tire exploded. The bus became overturned, and the tractor trailer caught fire.

A Highway Patrol spokesperson reported that eight people had died in the crash, two of whom were on the bus, one was in the tractor-trailer (presumably the driver), and one in the SUV. Of the fourteen individuals injured, twelve were transported to local hospitals for treatment. Eight of the victims were in critical condition, two were in serious condition, and four were in stable condition. The bus was reportedly transporting a group of senior citizens, who were returning from a church-sponsored Jubilee event.

Prior to the collision, the SUV was carrying three individuals,  the tractor trailer one, and the bus had eighteen. Authorities stated that they will continue to investigate into the collision, and will examine specifically the qualifications of the bus driver, and inspections regarding the condition of the bus.

This accident, although incredibly tragic, provides the rare potential opportunity to discuss when collisions are truly accidents. The actual determination of cause and fault are yet to be determined, and will be arrived at based upon the objective analysis of the evidence left behind. With that caveat in place, we can hypothetically examine various alternatives that may have transpired here.

Though not typically the case, there is the potential that this was truly an accident. In most cases, accidents are caused because one driver was at fault in some way or another. Here, however, police reported that the reason the bus crossed the median line was because the tire exploded. If the bus driver and the company chartering the bus kept it in good condition, and inspected regularly to determine the state of the tires, and the tire inexplicably exploded, then it may truly have been an accident, although incredibly tragic. Additionally, if the tire popped due to a nail in the road, then it would also qualify as a true accident, unless an unrelated third party is blameworthy for negligently leaving debris in the roadway.

Alternatively, and more likely in a majority of real collisions, there was some sort of negligence, perhaps in the maintenance of the bus, that lead to the tire exploding during traveling. Examples of potential negligence include putting off regular maintenance, ignoring recommended mileage limitations, etc. Essentially, a failure of reasonable care and maintenance of the bus could potentially amount to the necessary level of culpability required in order to successfully prove liability in a negligence lawsuit.

If you have been injured, or a loved one has been killed, in a car accident due to another individual’s negligent driving, you should consult with an experienced Atlanta car accident attorney as soon as possible. Timing is particularly important when you are involved in an accident as complex as this one, since evidence will need to be gathered regarding various vehicles. Stephen Ozcomert is a knowledgeable personal injury attorney with over 20 years of experience, and is skilled at representing individuals and their families who have been injured as a result of the negligent or reckless driving of others in Atlanta and throughout Georgia. Contact us today in order to schedule your free initial consultation, and find out how we can help you secure the compensation you deserve. You can reach us by calling (404)-370-1000 or through our website.

More Blog Posts:

Incredibly Tragic Accident in Douglasville on I-20 Involving Several Children, Atlanta Personal Injury Lawyer Blog, published September 26, 2013

Police Continue Investigation Into Fatal SW Atlanta Car Accident, Atlanta Personal Injury Lawyer Blog,  published September 20, 2013

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