In a previous post concerning a possible highway design defect that contributed to the fatal Bluffton University bus accident that left 7 dead and numerous others seriously injured, it was noted this was not the first time that a serious car wreck had occurred on Atlanta’s Northside Drive exit on I-75. For the first time publicly, Atlanta police have released reports of at least three other similar auto accidents where the drivers mistakenly took the HOV exit ramp much like the driver of this most recent tragic Atlanta bus accident.
Each accident involved drivers who did NOT know they left the I-75 H-O-V lane before they crashed.
Five years ago, Catherine Hartman and her husband were in an accident at the same spot after she mistook an exit ramp for a commuter lane.
Yesterday, with her left knee still not healed from the 2002 accident, she says she feels upset and sick that more has NOT been done to prevent accidents there.
Department of Transportation said there have been two deaths from seven accidents involving the H-O-V exit ramp in the last nine years.
This information could go a long way in proving the Georgia DOT had prior knowledge of the possible highway defects associated with this exact exit and simply chose not to do anything constructive about it. I guess the two deaths prior to this fatal bus accident were not enough to get their attention and show that changes needed to be made. Had they utilized this information when the previous events occurred, perhaps this devastating accident involving an entire college baseball team may not have occurred. At the very least, it is something that should be examined further and discussed to ensure yet another accident like this one never happens again.
A partner with Childers, Schlueter & Smith, LLC,, Brandon Smith has devoted his practice to pharmaceutical litigation, mass torts, products liability and serious personal injury. A frequent guest speaker at legal seminars all over the country—Brandon is focused on helping injured victims nationwide, however possible. Named a SuperLawyer again in 2019, he has also been called out as one of 10 Best Attorneys For Georgia by the American Institute Of Personal Injury Attorneys and a Top 100 Lawyer in Georgia by the National Trial Lawyers in 2019.