According to an Atlanta Journal Constitution article, two adults were injured early this morning when a wrong-way driver crashed into a car head-on on I-85 in DeKalb County, Georgia. Numerous calls were placed to DeKalb County police around 2 a.m. from eyewitnesses. The collision occurred at Clairmont Road in DeKalb County.
The wrong-way driver has been identified as John Mims, a 34 year old from Cedar Rapids, Iowa. The victim in the other vehicle has been identified as Erin McPherson, a 19 year old from Alpharetta, Georgia. Ms. McPherson was operating a Ford Focus, a rather small vehicle.
The impact from the head-on collision (also known as front-impact collision) was so great that DeKalb firefighters had to manually remove Ms. McPherson from her vehicle. She was taken to an area hospital in serious but stable condition. The wrong-way driver, Mr. Mims, allegedly sustained moderate injuries and was taken to Grady Hospital. Mr. Mims was cited by the DeKalb County Police with reckless driving, driving on the wrong side of the road and DUI. Typically, head-on collisions that are due to wrong way drivers are the result of alcohol and/or drugs that impair the motorist’s ability to operate a car. The DUI charge against Mr. Mims may lead to punitive damages awarded against Mr. Mims should Ms. McPherson take this case to court.
The force of a frontal impact is great. According to Newton’s Third Law of motion, to every action there is always opposed an equal reaction. The popular television show, “Mythbusters,” conducted a front impact collision between two cars. The myth was that the force of frontal impact between two vehicles that were both traveling 50 MPH would be equivalent to one car hitting a solid wall at 100 MPH. After research and testing was conducted, the myth was broken. It was proved that the action of two vehicles colliding into the front of each other at the same speed of 50 MPH was the equivalent of 50 MPH of force. Of course, this is an affirmation of Newton’s Third Law.
Newton’s Second Law of motion states that force is equal to mass times acceleration. Thus, the force of motion can be calculated by inputting the variables of mass and acceleration. In rear- and side-impact collisions, force is not created as quickly as in a frontal impact. Thus, a person is going to feel the impact much sooner in a head-on collision than in a rear-end collision. The quick change in force from a head-on collision plays havoc on a motorist’s body.
It is important to contact an experienced personal injury attorney in these types of cases as injuries in a head-on collision can be catastrophic. It is not uncommon for injuries such as joint and muscle injuries to occur. In a front-impact collision, the body moves rapidly upon impact and the lower extremities including the hip, knees, leg, ankles and feet are subject to injury as they absorb the full force of the crash. As part of this movement, the feet and ankles are typically caught under the dashboard, steering wheel or gas pedal, which causes traumatic rotation or twisting of the knees. It is not uncommon for victims in a head-on collision to sustain ligament damage in the knee such as a MCL (medial collateral ligament) or ACL (anterior cruciate ligament) tear. Additionally, one may experience injuries to the lower or upper part of the leg, hip or shin.
Due to potential catastrophic injuries involved in a front impact collision, it is important to seek legal advice from a car accident attorney to determine your options under the law. The Law Offices of Kevin C. Ford has been handling head-on collision crashes and other vehicle collisions for nearly 20 years. To quickly determine your rights under the law, please contact an experienced personal injury attorney to determine your rights.