On April 22, Georgia State Patrol was on the scene of a fatal multi-vehicle accident on Interstate 16 about 20 miles west of Savannah. The crash occurred around 6 a.m. when the driver of a big rig did not slow down for slower moving traffic and rear-ended an SUV. Next, the truck rolled over the top of a smaller vehicle, which became engulfed in flames. Seven vehicles were damaged before the rig came to a rest after colliding with the back end of a tanker.
Five nursing students traveling from Georgia Southern University in Statesboro to St. Joseph's Hospital in Savannah died in the wreckage. The students were Georgia residents preparing to complete their junior year, and each was 20 or 21 years of age. They were on their way to the hospital for a final day of training for the school year.
Troopers reported that a separate accident a mile ahead of this wreck was the reason for the heavier, slower moving traffic, and weather and fog did not seem to be a factor. The preliminary investigation and cleanup kept portions of I-16 closed for several hours. No immediate charges were filed against the truck driver.
When truck accidents occur, it can take the authorities some time to investigate the scene and interview witnesses. Federal trucking regulation compliance will be examined to determine whether truck driver fatigue was a factor, and investigators will look at the trucking log.
The families of those who die in a truck wreck may consider filing wrongful death lawsuits against the truck driver and the company that employs him. A personal injury attorney might help by obtaining copies of investigative reports to sort through the details of a fatal accident, and may offer legal advice to family members of the deceased.
Source: ABC News, "5 Nursing Students Killed in Georgia Interstate Crash," Russ Bynum, April 22, 2015