What are the odds that six of seven drivers involved in a chain reaction car wreck in Clayton County, Ga., were driving under the influence? At a simple glance, 86 percent of the drivers. Unfortunately, I do not have access to data to crunch the numerical statistics of how often these variables exist at one time in the United States. However, the number has to be quite, quite low.

Granted, it was a holiday weekend and motorists had free time to travel, see loved ones and friends, to mix and mingle and perhaps…. imbibe a little alcohol. It was with this possible intention in mind that we come to know the facts of the pile-up that took place around 3 a.m. on July 3, 2013, on or around I-75 at C.W. Grant Parkway–north of I-285 close to the exit near the international concourse of Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport. Of course, the facts are not complete without mentioning that this chain reaction pile up was allegedly caused by pedestrian that walked or ran onto the southbound lane of I-75 and was promptly struck by the first car.

According to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution article, the wayward pedestrian caused the first vehicle to slow or stop, which proximately resulted in the other six vehicles directly behind it to subsequently crash into the rear-end of each respective vehicle. The pedestrian was taken to the hospital in critical condition and charged with a violation of pedestrian entering the roadway. Six of the motorists were charged with driving under the influence and of these six motorists, two were also charged with following too closely. I think it can be fair to say that speed and decreased reaction time due to alcohol intake were factors in this incident.

Driving under the influence (DUI), driving while intoxicated (DWI), drunk(en) driving, drunk driving, operator under the influence, drinking and driving, impaired driving or driving to the extent less safe are crimes associated with operating and driving a motor vehicle with blood levels of alcohol that are in excess of a legal limit. A review of Georgia DUI laws can be found here as promulgated by the Georgia Governor’s Office of Highway Safety. The prominent and most widely used DUI law connected with the operation of a motor vehicles in Georgia is O.C.G.A. 40-6-391 that sets forth the grounds for driving under the influence of alcohol, drugs or other intoxicating substances. As a majority of the motorists were charged with a DUI violation, it is presumed that the motorists either submitted to an alco-sensor at the scene, failed field sobriety tests, refused testing completely and/or consented to a blood alcohol test.

Generally, pedestrians are protected under Georgia law by having the right of way in designated crosswalks (O.C.G.A. 40-6-21). However, when a pedestrian departs from a crosswalk and leaves the curb area (O.C.G.A. 40-6-91(b)) or crosses a street other a crossway (O.C.G.A. 40-6-92(a)), then the pedestrian is obligated to yield the right of way to motor vehicles. Consequently, the act of the pedestrian crossing across the southbound lane of I-75 in this chain reaction pile up was against the law. As the articles are silent regarding the identity of disposition of the pedestrian, I am not aware if the pedestrian was under the influence of drugs, alcohol or other intoxicating substances. For further information pertaining to pedestrian rights and responsibilities, see the pedestrian guide as published by the Georgia Department of Transportation.

The known motorists involved in this pile up include William Scott Kirk of McDonough, Najm Martinez of East Point, Joseph Daise of Jonesboro, Tawan Hayes of Riverdale and Joshua Noble. All motorists that were cited had bonded out of jail and the current disposition of their violations/well-being and that of the unnamed pedestrian are currently unknown. Apparently, two individuals were injured of which one was critical and one person fractured his leg in this multi car crash.

The Law Offices of Kevin C. Ford represent clients throughout Georgia who were injured or lost a loved one in car wrecks caused by a motorist under the influence of alcohol (DUI) or drugs. Further, we take on cases of pedestrians injured by motorists. As such, the Law Offices of Kevin C. Ford is currently accepting drunk driver, car and pedestrian crash cases throughout Georgia. If you or a loved one has been injured as the result of the negligence or fault of a drunk or negligent driver, then please contact an experienced car accident attorney immediately for a free consultation. Mr. Ford can help clients obtain monetary compensation necessary to pay for past, present and future medical care and provide for a fresh start. Please contact us today for a free consultation.

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