Atlanta Personal Injury Lawyer News Updates
You may not think about it too much, but you take the lives of everyone else in your hands when you get behind the wheel to drive. Atlanta, as a recent study confirmed, is home to some of the deadliest stretches of road in Georgia. Six of the top 10 stretches (based on casualties-per-mile) were located in Atlanta. The study, commissioned by Butler, Wooten & Peak, used data from the Fatality Analysis Reporting System and the US Census for 2013, 2014, and 2015 to locate the stretches. I-20 and I-75 had the two highest casualties per mile, so please be extra careful whenever you’re driving on those roads.
A young motorcyclist lost their life on I-85. Richard Lara, 21 years old and of Lilburn, was identified by the police as the motorcyclist. Sgt. John Chafee confirmed that the investigation was still in the early stages and no charges have been brought yet.
Mental health is a serious issue in today’s youth, and far too few people take it seriously. Fulton County Schools, however, wants to help parents and volunteers recognize signs of mental health issues and help treat it. Parents and teens are both invited to the talk: “When Love is Not Enough: Know When to Seek Help.” It will take place at Tri-Cities High School on March 24, 2018 at 10:00am. Known, respected mental health professionals will be attending to help people recognize the signs before it is too late.
A study has confirmed what everyone near Atlanta has known for years. Atlanta has some of the worst traffic in the world. According to the INRIX Scorecard, Atlanta commuters spent, on average, 70 hours in 2017 stuck in rush hour traffic. Those numbers are good enough to place Atlanta number 8, meaning we have the eighth-worst congestion of every major city in the study.
The government is going to court. Again. Fulton County must now defend itself in court regarding its decision to keep most residential property values at 2016 levels after its 2017 assessment. Georgia’s State Department of Revenue rejected Fulton County’s decision and is now forcing them to defend their choice. The Department of Revenue has denied Fulton County’s tax digest.
The spirit of giving lasts even beyond Christmas. On Jan. 8, the Woodruff foundation pledged $400 million to Emory University. The funds are dedicated to improving medical research and patient care models. This is the largest gift Emory has ever received.
Help can come from the strangest of places. Police responded to an abandoned crashed vehicle in the Avalon complex near Alpharetta. Just before the call came in, a separate vehicle darted off the property. Police had no leads. Until something you never thought you’d see happened. The owner of the crashed vehicle came to the police for help. The driver of the crashed vehicle, Shannon Hunte, was connected to it once they found his driver’s license inside. Another surprise came to them when they found 30 spools of copper that authorities believe were stolen from a construction site. Hunte was arrested and charged with felony burglary.
Federal prosecutors are taking down blackmail in the medical profession. In Dekalb county, every time a public employee sent a prospective medical student to a particular school, they received $100. The school in question closed this past summer after Rodrick Wyatt, the employee from Dekalb County getting these kick-backs, pled guilty to the federal charges.
DeKalb County Police are investigating the death of an 11-year-old boy who was killed overnight after being struck by a vehicle on Barbashela Circle in Stone Mountain, GA. The victim was an Irma escapee from Florida.
A horrific motorcycle accident in DeKalb County left one man dead and another in jail. The crash happened on Ponce de Leon Avenue and Clifton Road. The unidentified Porsche driver slammed into the back of the 31-year-old William Kuhn who was operating a motorcycle, dragged him several feet, and then pushed his bike through the intersection of Ponce de Leon Avenue and Clifton Road. Kuhn died at the scene. DeKalb County Police reported that the driver of the Porsche appeared to be under the influence and arrested him.
A 40-year-old Decatur man named Duane Taffe was struck and killed while walking on I-75. Sheldon Taffe was driving his silver Acura TL with his cousin, Duane Taffe, riding as a passenger. Sheldon Taffe told police that his cousin jumped out of the vehicle. When he pulled over and tried to get his cousin to his feet, Duane Taffe broke away and ran into the roadway. A 2017 blue Freightliner tractor-trailer struck Duane within minutes of him entering the roadway. Tractor-trailer driver, Andrew Morrell of Port Charlotte, Florida, told investigators that he was trying to avoid Duane. Duane was pronounced dead at the scene.
DeKalb County Officer Ian MacGowan drove his police cruiser into a woman jogger while trying to avoid hitting a vehicle turning in front of him then crashed it into a house at the intersection of Brown and Chamblee Tucker roads. The 66-year-old jogger named Janet Pickney was critically injured and taken to the hospital along with Officer MacGowan. Chief James Conroy stated that Oficer MacGowan made an “evasive maneuver” to avoid the turning vehicle and struck the pedestrian who was in a crosswalk. No charges have been filed.
DeKalb County Police responded to a fatal road rage accident on I-285 at southbound at Ponce de Leon Avenue. Johnnie Hudson (39) was driving a Dodge pick-up truck when he rear-ended Chris Ervin’s silver Lexus sedan. DeKalb County Police Officer G. Sampson found Ervin (32) fatally shot in his torso lying next to Hudson’s truck. Hudson did not leave the scene. Investigators believe that Ervin got out of his car and approached Hudason’s after the accident. Hudson then shot Ervin through the driver side window as the window was broken with glass shattered everywhere and a .40-caliber shell casing. Hudson asked Officer Sampson if Ervin was still alive while he was being arrested. Hudson was charged with murder and booked in DeKalb County Jail.
After months of hard work after the I-85 collapse, contractor C.W. Matthews’s President announced that the I-85 bridge northbound should be opened by the evening of May 12, 2017. That will be more than a month ahead of the June 15th deadline.
Basil Eleby, the homeless man accused of setting fire under I-85 which caused the I-85 collapse, pled not guilty to arson and criminal trespass before Honorable Judge Ural Glanville in Fulton County Superior Court. Eleby has four high-profile lawyers working his case for free. Judge Glanville approved the deal lawyers negotiated with prosecutors. The deal included a $10,000 bond, enter into a residential center for his addition and mental health issues, find employment within two months, to submit to random drug testing for the next two months, not to have any contact with any witnesses of the I-85 collapse, and not to go within 1,000 yards of where the interests collapsed. He may go near the I-85 collapse only with counsel or as part of their investigation. Police reported that Eleby was under the I-85 bridge abusing drugs when he set fire to a stuffed chair that was on top of a grocery cart. The grocery cart was plastic and melted. The fire spread to construction conduit being stored under the bridge by the Georgia Department of Transportation. Atlanta drivers are urged to check on road closures before traveling in and out of the city.
At the height of rush hour around 6:00 PM in Atlanta, Interstate 85 caught massive fire which caused the bridge over GA 13 near Piedmont Road to collapse. Atlanta Fire and Rescue reported that there were no injuries from the fire and collapse. It is still unknown what caused the fire and investigations are still underway. The PVC pipes under the bridge caught fire. Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed reported that the FBI does not believe that it was an act of terrorism. Georgia Governor Nathan Deal declared a state of emergency for Fulton County and urged drivers to avoid the area. The Department of Transportation does not know when the bridge will be fixed. As of now, there are several road closures and alternate routes for traveling inside the perimeter.
Officers Naeemah Wellington and Mark Still are being called heroes for saving an accident victim from a fiery crash in Fulton County. The crash shut down traffic for hours at Fulton Industrial Boulevard and Interstate 20 in Atlanta. Officer Wellington was in the area of the crash clearing a traffic investigation when she heard the accident. Officer Still was off duty and in the same area as the crash. The accident involved a Chrysler 300 sedan and an 18-wheeler. Both officers used their batons to shatter the window, and then they pulled the driver from the burning vehicle. The driver was taken to Grady Memorial Hospital and remains anonymous. He was seriously injured. The 18-wheeler driver refused medical attention at the scene. His named is also anonymous while investigations are underway by police. The wreckage was so severe that I-20 eastbound was shut down for hours while crews worked to clear the scene.
The City of Decatur started an Amnesty Program on February 1, 2017 which will run through May 1, 2017 for anyone who has past-due traffic citations and active bench warrants to resolve them without being arrested. The City also has agreed to waive additional fees and costs which normally would be assessed against the person such as a warrant fee and failure to obey summons violation fees. Anyone with an issued bench warrant must pay the full fine from their initial violation. All payments must be made in cash, money order, credit card, or certified check. In order to take advantage of this program simply stop by the Decatur Municipal Court during business hours. The court will also be open on every other Saturday to help accommodate those who wish to partake in the program. If you cannot recall whether you received a letter from the City of Decatur Municipal Court regarding a missed court date then simply call the court staff at 678-553-6655 or go in person to 420 W. Trinity Place, Decatur, GA 30030 to find out.
A new wing franchise is coming to Decatur! Rapper Rick Ross is opening a Wing Stop which will be the chain’s 1,000th store. Ross was born in Florida but lives in metro Atlanta. Many will attend the restaurant opening at the end of January. Those in attendance will be Congressman Hank Johnson, City Councilman Kwanza Hall, DeKalb County Commissioner Larry Johnson, DeKalb Chamber president and CEO Katerina Taylor, Ross’ Boss Wings partner Tawanda Roberts, as well many other guests. Ross’ company is donating $5,000.00 to a local nonprofit called Hands on Atlanta in honor of the grand opening.
On January 9, 2017, DeKalb County Police found a woman shot in the head at the Park at East Ponce Apartments in Stone Mountain. The unidentified woman died from the gunshot wound. DeKalb County Police are investigating the homicide. There is no other information at that this time as an investigation is still pending.