I-20 seems to be coming in for an unusual share of tragic car accidents.
In the early morning hours of Sunday, March 25, 2012, a 37-year-old man
from Bremen, Georgia, was killed while driving along I-20 in a Douglas
County motorcycle accident.
Jason Dale Strickland was driving a Harley Davidson motorcycle, headed
home from his job as a paramedic at Grady Hospital. Mr. Strickland was
headed westbound along I-20 near Lee Road. Francisco Ferrer, a 33-year-old
man from Dallas, Georgia, also was headed westbound on I-20. He was driving
a Honda Element, according to
Dallas Man Charged in Fatal Accident that Claimed Life of Cedartown Man from Examiner.com.
Like the accident I wrote about in an last blog entry,
Man Killed in Alpharetta, Georgia Car Crash: Failure to Maintain Lane, this accident actually involved two different motor vehicle accidents.
Mr. Ferrer’s Honda Element struck Mr. Strickland’s motorcycle
from the rear, and Mr. Strickland was thrown from his motorcycle into
the center lane of travel.
Then, a second, big truck accident occurred. Mr. Joseph Edward Marrett,
age 66, of Conyers, was driving a tractor-trailer truck along I-20. When
Mr. Strickland was thrown into the center travel lane, the
tractor-trailer truck hit the motorcycle driver.
The police have not filed any charges against Mr. Marrett, the driver of
the truck. The police apparently concluded that Mr. Marrett was proceeding
lawfully down the road, when a man was suddenly thrown in front of him,
and that given those circumstances, he had no way to stop fast enough
to avoid hitting Mr. Strickland.
The police have charged Mr. Ferrer, however, with driving under the influence
(DUI), vehicular homicide, and following too closely.
Under Georgia law, “The driver of a motor vehicle shall not follow
another vehicle more closely than is reasonable and prudent, having due
regard for the speed of such vehicles and the traffic upon and the condition
of the highway.”
O.C.G.A. § 40-6-49.
In the civil context, the courts have held that juries should decide rear-end
With particular regard to “rear-end” collision cases, our Supreme
Court has admonished that liability is generally a jury question, depending
upon a “factual resolution of the issues of diligence, negligence,
and proximate cause.” Atlanta Coca-Cola Bottling Co. v. Jones. While
a directed verdict in such cases is rare, liability can be summarily decided
in the proper circumstances.
R. A. Siegel Company v. Bowen, 246 Ga. App. 177, 539 S.E.2d 873 (2000).
Georgia law provides that “(a) A person shall not drive or be in
actual physical control of any moving vehicle while . . . (5) The person’s
alcohol concentration is 0.08 grams or more at any time within three hours
after such driving or being in actual physical control from alcohol consumed
before such driving or being in actual physical control ended.”
O.C.G.A. § 40-6-391. Douglas County Assistant District Attorney Ryan Leonard told the Court
that Ferrer had a blood alcohol content of .125. Ferrer apparently told
police he had been drinking at the Fulton Industrial strip club, Fannie’s
Cabaret. Sneed, Douglas County Sentinel, Ferrer Denied Bond as He Faces
Vehicular Homicide DUI Charges in EMT’s I-20 Death.