A Georgia Department of Transportation (DOT) worker, 27-year-old Troy Moore of Conyers, was injured when he was struck by a tractor trailer along Interstate 85 in Gwinnett County on Tuesday. The Highway Emergency Response Operator (HERO) employee was removing tire debris on the metro Atlanta freeway at around 4pm when a tractor trailer hit two vehicles that had stopped for the worker, and then hit the worker. The HERO employee was conscious and was taken to Gwinnett Medical Center with multiple broken bones.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 74,000 people were injured and 3,380 people were killed in crashes involving large trucks in 2009.
The driver of the truck, 54-year-old Jesse Arnold, was cited by police for unsafe lane change, failure to yield to emergency lights, operating an unsafe vehicle, and following too closely, say Gwinnett authorities. On the scene, the driver said that his brakes malfunctioned, and police say he will likely not face criminal charges. Georgia DOT spokesperson Teri Pope said 57 Georgia DOT workers have been killed since 1973, but only one HERO operator has killed in the line of duty since the program began fifteen years ago. That fatality was in January, when HERO operator Spencer Pass was killed while helping a motorist on Interstate 85.
Georgia Department of Transportation HERO workers serve to help stranded motorists and clean up debris from roads so traffic can flow smoothly. As part of this program, stranded motorists in metro Atlanta can call 511 to receive free HERO assistance for traffic-related incidents. In 2008, the HEROs managed over 94,000 incidents and disabled motorist calls.
Trucks are large and difficult to maneuver, and therefore are inherently dangerous. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 74,000 people were injured and 3,380 people were killed in crashes involving large trucks in 2009. If you or a loved one has been involved in a trucking or automobile accident, you may be entitled to compensation for your lost wages, medical bills, and pain and suffering. Contact a dedicated Atlanta trucking accident attorney to see if you are eligible to pursue legal recourse and recover damages for your trucking injury.