Despite safety features such as speed limiters, automatic braking, lane departure warnings, and backup cameras becoming standard on new tractor-trailers, accidents are on the rise. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, despite an overall decline in fatal motor vehicle accidents, large truck accidents involving fatalities rose 9% to 4,761. This is an increase of 392 lives lost compared to the previous year. 72% of the deaths involved people in vehicles other than the truck. That still means that 1,300 of the deaths were the truck drivers themselves.
The Atlanta Journal and Constitution reports on a truck driver facing charges stemming from an accident that killed one person and shut down traffic on I-20 for hours.
The accident occurred at about 7:30 p.m. on January 17th on Interstate 20 Eastbound between Thornton Road and Fulton Industrial Boulevard. A tractor-trailer driven by 53-year-old Mario Milan Polier overturned onto its passenger side.
The truck then crashed into a concrete barrier separating eastbound and westbound lanes. It then struck another tractor-trailer and two other vehicles. Debris from the concrete barrier struck another two vehicles, killing one driver. He was identified as 20-year-old William Aaron Whitaker of Carrollton.
Three people were injured in the accident, but their conditions are unknown.
Polier was arrested and charged with improper lane change, following too closely, and second-degree homicide by vehicle.
Polier is being held at Fulton County Jail in lieu of a $25,000 bond.
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