Debris in roadways can lead to deadly wrecks - Mid-South News, Weather, Traffic and Sports | FOX13

Debris in roadways can lead to deadly wrecks

Posted: Updated:
ATLANTA -

Many of us have seen dangerous debris on Atlanta's roads and interstates. If you're not paying attention, that debris can even turn deadly. Georgia State troopers are still investigating a deadly multi-vehicle pile up last week, caused by a ladder on the interstate.

So, how can you avoid the debris? State troopers say most Atlanta wrecks are caused by drivers either following too closely or sideswiping another vehicle. Both are dangerous trends when it comes to avoiding debris on the roadways.

One LaGrange family is still searching for justice after their loved one, 59-year-old Alma Rowland-Johnson was killed in a car crash. Troopers believe a ladder fell off a vehicle, causing the pile up on Interstate 285.

"That's hard to know that your sister is gone just because of something like that - somebody's carelessness. That they didn't take that extra time to make sure that it was strapped down and secure," said Brenda Rowland-Lawrence.

Georgia State troopers say it may be more common than you think.

"I've seen mattresses. I've seen couches. Other than the paint buckets and the road tires and chairs that you normally see sometimes in Atlanta, that's about the strangest ones that I've seen in the highway," said Sgt. James Buchanan of the Georgia State Patrol.

Buchanan says drivers need to take extra precautions to make sure they have the load they may be carrying is secured before they hit the road.

"Either with tie down straps or make sure it's tied down securely so it doesn't budge. If it does budge and cause a wreck, you could be held responsible," said Buchanan. "At minimum they face a charge of failing to secure a load on a vehicle. If it comes lose and enters the highway, they can face all the way up to vehicular homicide."

A bad wreck can happen in the blink of an eye.

"The biggest thing in general in downtown Atlanta is you got people who follow other vehicles too closely. They don't have that reactionary gap that they need to leave between them and the other vehicle," Buchanan said.

Buchanan had one more piece of advice for motorists.

"They also need to take into account what vehicles are next to them on the left and right of them to make sure they have that escape route," Buchanan said.

Sometimes, troopers say, it's better to run through the debris rather than make a last second, dangerous decision to go around it.

Troopers are still investigating the crash on 285. They're working to locate the driver who's ladder came lose, and caused the pile up. Criminal charges are possible.

They say most Atlanta drivers have become aggressive drivers, instead of defensive drivers. But those defensive tactics, like using your eyes to scan farther down the road and always having an escape route left or right, can help avoid wrecks and debris.

  • Good Day ArchiveMore>>

  • Dine Out for Project Open Hand

    Dine Out for Project Open Hand

    Wednesday, April 23 2014 9:39 AM EDT2014-04-23 13:39:13 GMT
    Head out to the a participating restaurant to celebrate the 22nd anniversary of Dining Out For Life.
    Head out to the a participating restaurant to celebrate the 22nd anniversary of Dining Out For Life.
  • Fox 5 I-Team

    Cheap vs. Frugal

    Cheap vs. Frugal

    Wednesday, April 23 2014 9:15 AM EDT2014-04-23 13:15:25 GMT
    There is nothing wrong with saving a buck, but can you cross the line? There is a difference between being cheap and being frugal.
    There is nothing wrong with saving a buck, but can you cross the line? There is a difference between being cheap and being frugal.
  • Mountain Festival Brings Music, Dancing To Dahlonega Square

    Mountain Festival Brings Music, Dancing To Dahlonega Square

    Wednesday, April 23 2014 9:08 AM EDT2014-04-23 13:08:13 GMT
    The North Georgia town of Dahlonega is best-known for its gold. But this weekend, music will bring more than 50,000 people to the historic town square.
    The North Georgia town of Dahlonega is best-known for its gold. But this weekend, music will bring more than 50,000 people to the historic town square.
  • Katie Beasley's storiesMore>>

  • Improve your commute with the "One Bus Away" app

    Improve your commute with the "One Bus Away" app

    Thursday, April 17 2014 9:03 AM EDT2014-04-17 13:03:23 GMT
    Don't you hate when you're waiting for mass transit and have no idea when that train or bus will show up? Now, there's an app for that and it's saving people time and money.
    Don't you hate when you're waiting for mass transit and have no idea when that train or bus will show up? Now, there's an app for that and it's saving people time and money.
  • How to prevent pothole problems

    How to prevent pothole problems

    Tuesday, April 8 2014 7:56 AM EDT2014-04-08 11:56:23 GMT
    There are still hundreds of pot holes around metro Atlanta and your car could be really taking a hit.
    There are still hundreds of pot holes around metro Atlanta and your car could be really taking a hit.
  • What is E-10 Fuel?

    What is E-10 Fuel?

    Thursday, April 3 2014 9:30 AM EDT2014-04-03 13:30:08 GMT
    Ethanol is a renewable fuel, administered by the EPA and blended into gasoline to help with greenhouse gas emissions.
    Ethanol is a renewable fuel, administered by the EPA and blended into gasoline to help with greenhouse gas emissions.
Powered by WorldNow

WHBQ-TV | Fox 13
485 S. Highland St.
Memphis, TN 38111

Main Station: (901) 320-1313
Newsroom: (901) 320-1340

Didn't find what you were looking for?
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Fox Television Stations, Inc. and Worldnow. All Rights Reserved.
Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Ad Choices