Texting at the wheel is illegal in Georgia. It’s bad enough to take your eyes off the road to text if you are driving a car. The consequences can be even more serious if you are driving a heavy truck.
This is exactly what a dump truck driver is accused of doing near Rome in Georgia in June.
The driver was charged with first-degree vehicular homicide and texting while driving over the crash.
Police accuse the 36-year-old of Muscadine, Alabama of texting on his mobile device when the wreck happened, reported the Rome News-Tribune.
The wreck claimed the life of 49-year-old William Chad Lance of Cedartown.
The dump truck driver was also charged with reckless driving, driving his truck on an expired tag, driving on the wrong side of the highway and driving with a suspended or a revoked license, according to the report.
Georgia State Patrol Trooper Jeremy Battle said the state’s Specialized Collision Reconstruction Team is conducting a full investigation into the fatal wreck.
The dump truck was headed west on Ga. 140. It sideswiped Lance, who was eastbound in his Acura. The impact smashed in the driver’s side of the Acura. The media reports said the dump truck kept going for about another 75 yards before veering off the north shoulder of the road and rolling down an embankment into the front yard of a home.
After the wreck, troopers said they believed the dump truck driver was engaged in a texting conversation.
State police were reported to be seeking a search warrant for his mobile device.
Texting is a major cause of fatal vehicle wrecks. Not only is it illegal for truckers to text in Georgia but any form of use of a hand-held device is banned under federal law for commercial drivers, even the making of calls.
Last year, a truck driver from Louisiana was sentenced to five years in prison over a crash that killed five student nurses on I-16 in Georgia, reported the Atlanta-Journal Constitution.
John Wayne Johnson admitted five counts of first-degree vehicular homicide. He was sentenced five years in prison followed by five years on probation.
The trucker admitted in a previous deposition to using his cell phone to text and exchange sexually provocative messages with a woman before the crash. He denied he was texting or using his phone at the time of crash in 2015.
If you have been injured by a trucker who was texting or to blame in any other way, you have likely grounds to file a lawsuit. A number of parties may be sued in these actions.
Call the call the Newnan-based Law Offices of Michael West at (404) 913-1529.