Hiawassee, Georgia – A devastating three-vehicle crash on Friday afternoon near the Owl Creek Road intersection, just south of the mountain city of Hiawassee, resulted in the death of an Oconee County man and left five others injured, according to the Georgia State Patrol.
The fatal incident occurred at approximately 12:50 p.m. on Georgia Highway 17, leaving the community of Watkinsville mourning the loss of Mark Savage, 63, who tragically passed away at the scene of the wreck.
According to the preliminary investigations, a Mack dump truck was northbound on Highway 17 when the truck’s driver’s side tire failed while negotiating a curve, causing the truck to cross into southbound traffic and crash into the family’s 2008 GMC Sierra traveling southbound.
The impact caused the GMC Sierra to veer off the road while the dump truck continued northward, crashing into the Ford F-150. Following the collision, the dump truck crashed off the road, overturning down an embankment.
Emergency services transported five to nearby hospitals with various injuries. Among those injured was Savage’s son, Jeremy Dalton, 41, from Watkinsville, Savage’s 11-year-old grandson, who is currently in critical condition and receiving intensive care; and a 10-year-old cousin, who remains hospitalized.
No further information was immediately available.
The injured motorists and the family of the deceased deserve justice and answers from the company responsible for the tire failure.
I am saddened to learn of multiple families forever changed because of a bad tire. This is not fair, and the person or company responsible for the tire failing should be held responsible.
We are seeing many tire failure accidents occurring like this one across the country, often leading to similar results. While it is possible that the tire fails due to impact with an object on the road, blowouts such as this one often occur from poorly maintained tires, tires used past their useful life, or tires that leave the manufacturer with defects.
Commercial trucking companies are required to follow strict rules regarding tire safety. Tires must be maintained and replaced once they have reached their useful life. Unfortunately, not all companies follow these rules, and preventable tire blowouts occur.
We have investigated and prosecuted many cases involving poorly maintained tires. In one case we are currently handling, our client was riding as a passenger in a truck with his colleague. Unbeknownst to him, the owner had repaired the front tire against industry standards and guidelines. As they traveled at highway speeds, the weakened tire failed, causing the truck to roll over. Our client was paralyzed. This was an entirely preventable crash had the truck’s owner followed Federal Law regarding commercial vehicle safety. Our client is holding the trucking company responsible.
Other tire failures are caused by factors controlled by the manufacturer of the tire. Tires are created by bonding sheets of rubber together. When tires are properly bonded, the rubber sheets disappear, and the tire becomes one cohesive piece of rubber. When manufacturers put profits over safety and fail to ensure tires are constructed properly, contaminants and other issues can interfere with the bonding process. This leaves the tire defective, weak, and prone to premature failures.
We are seeing this happen with alarming frequency across the nation. The results are almost always catastrophic. In one such case, our client’s son was traveling on a two-lane highway when a cement truck’s front left tire failed, causing the truck to roll onto its side and smash the young man’s vehicle. The parents are seeking answers about why the tire was ever placed into service.
In another case, our clients were traveling on a highway with a large dirt median separating the north and southbound traffic. As an 18-wheeler approached a curve, the front steer axle tire failed, causing the truck to proceed through the dirt median and crash head-on into multiple cars before coming to rest. We are helping multiple families injured in that crash hold the manufacturer responsible.
In another heartbreaking crash that is soon to be resolved, a similar scenario occurred when the tire failed, and the truck traveled through a large median. Tragically, that truck crashed into an oncoming bus, killing dozens and injuring even more.
The manufacturers that produce these tires must be held responsible for the lives they ruin. It is unfair, unjust, and out of control. Defective tires are ticking time bombs that kill and seriously injure whoever is in their path. Tires on commercial vehicles must be produced better to prevent these crashes from continuing.
It is too early to tell what caused this tire to blow out or the events leading up to the crash. However, it is clear that an innocent life was lost, and multiple people have suffered injuries, some of which may result in life-long changes. The tire must be preserved and inspected to ensure the exact cause of failure is determined and the appropriate parties are held accountable.
I offer my deepest condolences to the families affected here and offer my prayer for the health and healing of the young boys that continue to battle their injuries.
The Ammons Law Firm represents clients nationwide in catastrophic injury and wrongful death litigation, with extensive experience in complex auto/tire defect and commercial vehicle cases.
Disclaimer: This post is not legal advice. Information contained in this blog was compiled from third-party sources or is the opinion of the author. Please inform us immediately if false or misleading information is contained in this post.