Last week, two people were killed when a motorist drove in the wrong direction on Ga. 400. A 24-year-old driver started traveling south in the northbound lanes. According to a police officer on the scene, "The wrong-way driver collided head-on with another vehicle that was traveling north on Ga. 400."
The 24-year-old crashed into a 44-year-old man from Atlanta around 4:15 a.m. Both drivers were killed. A passenger in the negligent driver's vehicle was reportedly seriously injured and sent to the hospital.
Police suspect that alcohol was involved in the accident, a common factor in accidents where a motorist travels in the wrong direction. According to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, 22 people were killed in accidents caused by wrong-way drivers between 2004 and 2010. Based on a report compiled by Georgia's Department of Transportation, most of those incidents were caused by people who "were impaired by alcohol or drugs, or had failed to take prescription medication."
Just nine months ago, a police detective was killed in a wrong-way crash in which the other driver was suspected to be operating his vehicle under the influence of alcohol. The driver's blood alcohol content was practically two times the legal limit. The driver has been charged with DUI, reckless driving and vehicular homicide.
In a notable case over two decades ago, a driver with a BAC of 0.20 caused 10 accidents while driving the wrong way on 1-75, resulting in the death of an Army recruiter on his way to Disney World with his family.
While not common, wrong-way crashes are particularly dangerous as they often result in head-on collisions. In such a situation, a skilled personal injury attorney can ensure family members who have lost a loved one in such an accident receive just compensation.
Source: Atlanta Journal-Constitution, " Driving under the influence a common thread in many wrong-way crashes," Mike Morris, August 15, 2012.
Our firm handles situations similar to the one discussed in this post. If you would like to learn more about our practice, please visit our Georgia drunk driving accident page.