On February 11, 2016 around 1 a.m., a MARTA bus operator collided into a pickup truck driver while operating the bus route covering Cascade Road and Spring Park Drive. The impact of the crash was a head on collision and the damage to the truck was severe. The severity of the property damages is not surprising as MARTA New Flyer buses are quite large (35’ – 40’) and may very well weigh between 24,000 – 29,000 lbs.
The driver of the pickup truck was identified as Ashley Mount, 63. The police and MARTA are investigating the collision and it appears that there is video of the incident from an on-board camera in the bus. The bus operator and four bus passengers were taken to the hospital for treatment. Our heartfelt condolences go out to the family of Ms. Mount.
Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority (MARTA) is a legal entity created by a special act of the Georgia Legislature. MARTA was created in 1971 and was initially a bus system. Since that time, MARTA has grown into a bus route network that provides connection to the MARTA rail system of 38 train stations in Fulton, Clayton and DeKalb Counties along with bus service that has been expanded to Cobb and the airport. Recently, Gwinnett County was pondering a MARTA rail extension. MARTA services over 438,900 passengers on a daily basis. MARTA is funded by a 1% sales tax in Fulton, Clayton and DeKalb Counties and also receives federal funding.
“MARTA has had two fatal accidents which resulted in a formal investigation by the National Transportation Safety Board. On February 25, 2000 a train near Avondale station struck two automatic train control technicians who were inspecting a relay box; one was fatally injured and the other technician suffered serious injuries. The workers had failed to apply for a safe clearance restriction for the track work. In addition, the rail system center controller, who was aware of the workers, failed to notify train drivers of the technicians’ presence. A second accident occurred on April 10, 2000 when a train struck a bucket lift containing two contract workers at Lenox station; the workers were fatally injured. Although the MARTA employee who was accompanying the workers notified the rail control center of the work over the track, the control center employee failed to block off the section of the track in the automated rail control system and also failed to notify the unscheduled southbound train of the workers’ presence. In 2001 MARTA settled with the families of the two killed workers for US$10.5 million.” Attributed to Wikipedia
As history shows, MARTA has been investigated for fatal collisions in the past. It is safe to say that this recent fatal tragedy will not be the last. As an experienced personal injury attorney, I have handled many MARTA crashes throughout the Greater Atlanta area. Typically, the operators of the MARTA buses and trains are employees of MARTA. Consequently, any wrecks or crashes with cars, trucks and pedestrian by MARTA occur within the scope and course of employment its employees. When this occurs, the negligence (fault) of the MARTA driver is imputed (transferred) to MARTA and MARTA also becomes responsible for these negligent acts under the doctrine of respondeat superior (aka master-servant rule) under Georgia law.
In the lawsuits that I have filed against MARTA, I allege that the MARTA employee was working under a specific duty, policy or procedure of MARTA which the employee had to obey or follow and failed to do so; thus, there was no discretionary (left to regulated by one’s own discretion or judgment) which makes it difficult for MARTA to attempt to dismiss itself from the lawsuit. I name the negligent operator as well as MARTA as parties to the lawsuit. When the lawsuit is served upon the operator and the registered agent in Georgia for MARTA by the sheriff/marshal, then MARTA typically hires a lawyer to defend the case. I always make sure to forward a letter to MARTA to preserve and protect any evidence, including on-board video that may be relevant to the case.
The Law Offices of Kevin C. Ford is currently accepting MARTA bus and train car collision and pedestrian injury cases throughout Greater Atlanta. If you or a loved one has been injured as the result of the negligence of a negligent driver, then please contact us today for a free consultation and evaluation of your case. We have over 24 years experience and practice throughout the State of Georgia and can come to you. Please call 404-869-6969 or use our toll free number (855) LAW-FORD to secure your rights today!