Yesterday morning, a 25-year-old man was killed near Dacula, Ga., when his vehicle traveled off the roadway and hit a tree. The Atlanta Journal Constitution article indicates that the motorist, Bernard F. Jacques, apparently lost control of his 1997 Honda Civic while driving on New Hope Road near Alcovy River Drive and Palm Creek. Gwinnett County Police Department Cpl. Edwin Ritter indicated that the cause of the crash was unknown and that neither drugs nor alcohol were contributing factors to the crash. The impact from the crash must have been significant as Mr. Jacques died at the scene. It was noted in the investigation that Mr. Jacques was not wearing his seatbelt at the time of the wreck.
Our thoughts go out to Mr. Jacques’ family.
Mr. Jacques was involved in a single car accident which basically means that only one vehicle was involved in the wreck. Common examples of single vehicle collisions include run off-road wrecks (as is the case here), roll-over accidents and impacts with animals or foreign objects in the road. The question that remains is what caused Mr. Jacques to lose control of his vehicle and run off the road?
Some of the more common causes of single vehicle accidents include speeding, drugs, alcohol, improper lane change, failure to pay attention to the road, vehicle defect or failure, road design or being forced off the road by another vehicle. We know from the investigation that drugs and alcohol were not causes of the wreck. So, it is possible that the wreck may have been due to speeding, improper lane change, failure to pay attention to the road, vehicle failure, road design or a phantom vehicle that forced Mr. Jacques off the road. However, some of these causes are more prevalent than others. Of course, there is little evidence to direct us.
The investigation fails to inform us if the following conditions were present at the time of the wreck: whether there were tire marks or skids at the scene; whether the collision occurred on a stretch of straight level road or a curve; if the weather conditions were poor; or whether the deceased was on his cell phone at the time he lost control of his vehicle. Skid marks at the scene could indicate a number of factors including a high rate of speed, possible evasive maneuvering due to an animal or foreign object in the road, or a failure to pay attention to the road. If the collision took place at a curve in the road, then speeding or failure to pay attention could have caused Mr. Jacques to lose control of his vehicle. Further, if weather conditions indicated a heavy rainfall, the loss of control may be due to poor road design (accumulation of water) or a vehicle defect (braking or steering).
Recent cell phone usage could indicate a failure to pay attention to the roadway. This could be determined by the Gwinnett Police Department obtaining a copy of Mr. Jacques cell phone records to determine who and when Mr. Jacques was talking to before or at the time he lost control of the vehicle. Any such individuals may be able to shed further light on Mr. Jacques state of mind or operation of his vehicle before or at the time of the crash. Unfortunately, unless there was independent witness testimony regarding a third party motorist (the unknown phantom vehicle) or such motorist turned himself/herself in to the police, there really is no way to implicate such an unknown driver (absent paint exchange from this motorists’ vehicle to Mr. Jacques’ vehicle which would reflect at least some contact between the two vehicles ).
In some single vehicle accidents, the motorist is not at fault for the wreck or his/her resulting bodily injury or damage. In such situations, the the innocent motorist should contact an experienced car accident attorney at the earliest opportunity to review any applicable insurance coverage to determine if, when and how the motorist may recover compensation for property damage to the car, medical expenses and pain and suffering.
If you or a loved one has been the victim of a single vehicle accident in the state of Georgia, then the Law Offices of Kevin C. Ford can help steer you through the legal maze; investigate the cause of the accident; and help you achieve a judicious result. It is important that you contact an experienced car collision attorney quickly to preserve evidence from the roadway, vehicles and witnesses before the evidence is lost or destroyed.
The Law Offices of Kevin C. Ford is currently accepting single vehicle accident cases throughout Georgia. Please contact us today for a no risk consultation to discuss your case in detail. Our office will cover the costs of pursuing your case and if there is no recovery, then there is no fee