One person died and 43 others were injured in an accident involving a tractor-trailer truck and a tour bus at the intersection of Whitestone Road at Georgia State Road 515 last Thursday.
According to the Georgia State Patrol, the bus was traveling northbound when the tractor-trailer attempted to execute a left turn onto SR 515 from Whitestone Road, but had to stop due to oncoming traffic. While it was stopped, a tour bus carrying 48 elderly people struck the truck from behind.
According to Georgia authorities, only four people involved in the accident did not require medical attention. The others went to local hospitals, including Fannin Regional, Northside Cherokee Hospital, and Piedmont Mountainside Hospital. The husband of a crash survivor said the bus was headed to a casino in North Carolina, according to a WSB-TV report.
Truck Driver Appears at Fault for Crash
Preliminary investigation by the Georgia State Patrol indicates that the truck driver, who was not injured, was at fault. While making a left turn onto Highway 515 southbound, he paused for traffic, leaving his cargo load to extend across the northbound lanes. The bus driver, who was killed, crashed into the back of the truck.
Polcon Tile & Terrazo of Charlotte, North Carolina, owns the truck. U.S. Department of Transportation inspectors issued drivers for the company two unsafe driving violations in January 2015. The bus, owned by Marietta-based Greatime Getaways, has been issued no unsafe driving violations but six maintenance violations, including one for “brake connections with leaks/constrictions.”
According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), 3,978 large trucks and buses were involved in fatal crashes in the U.S. 2014. In 2012, Georgia was among the top 10 states with the most fatal truck accidents, reporting 139 such crashes.