Georgia State Patrol Takes Over Investigation of Fatal Construction Vehicle Collision Involving Naelie Miller
VIDALIA, GEORGIA (September 18, 2023) – A 60-year-old pedestrian identified as Naelie Miller has tragically died in a Vidalia street sweeper accident along East First Street.
Toombs County officials are saying that the accident took place around 7:30 p.m. on Friday night. Naelie Miller was walking when he was hit by a construction street sweeper.
Paramedics were called to the scene in order to help the victim. Naelie Miller was transported to Memorial Health Meadows Hospitals where he was later pronounced dead.
A full investigation by the Georgia State Patrol remains ongoing at this time.
Liability For Vidalia Street Sweeper Accidents
Despite continued improvements in workplace safety standards, there has been an increase in accidents involving construction vehicles. According to the U.S. Department of Transportation, “Fatal work zone crashes involving CMVs increased significantly in 2021—from 210 fatal crashes in 2020 to 291 fatal crashes in 2021. This 39-percent increase is in stark contrast to the 2-percent increase in fatal work zone crashes not involving a large truck or bus.” Many of the victims of construction vehicles are also pedestrians. There are numerous steps that drivers of street sweepers should take to avoid injuring pedestrians.
- Street sweeper drivers should slow down at night and during periods of reduced visibility.
- Street sweeper drivers should check their blind spots before making turns.
- Street sweeper drivers should be well rested before the start of their shift.
Any person wanting to drive a street sweeper must first get a commercial license. As commercial drivers, street sweeper operators are held to a high standard in terms of safety. They must do all that vigilance can in order to avoid collisions. Pursuant to Georgia Code § 40-6-93, every driver must exercise due care to avoid colliding with any pedestrian in the roadway. Drivers must also give warning of their presence by sounding their horn when necessary. When a driver fails to exercise due care and hits a pedestrian, this could form the basis of a negligence claim.
Depending on the facts of any case, liability for a street sweeper accident could extend beyond any negligent driver. The company or municipality that owned a street sweeper could also face liability for a collision. In general, companies are liable for the tortious actions of their employees – insofar as those employees were working within the course and scope of their job duties. For example, a commercial driver may have been transporting materials to a construction site. There are numerous steps that should be taken after any accident involving a street sweeper or other commercial vehicle.
- Surveillance footage of the collisions should be sought. Most intersections are covered by traffic cameras.
- Eye witnesses should be interviewed.
- The safety record of the company involved in the collision should be understood.
- A thorough investigation of the accident should be conducted.
It can be hard to know where to begin after any fatal collision. Family members are often left with more questions than answers. To make matters worse, construction companies will almost never be totally transparent about what took place. More often than not, they will seek to blame victims for what happened. It is important that accident victims understand that they do have rights. The family of any person that died in an accident with a commercial vehicle may be able to seek some measure of justice through a wrongful death claim.
Investigating Vidalia Street Sweeper Accidents
We at The Butler Kahn Law Firm extend our deepest condolences to the family of Naelie Miller. Any person that may have more information about what happened should reach out to Georgia State Patrol. It is our sincere hope that there is accountability and transparency for what has taken place. So many questions remain unanswered. Was this street sweeper driver properly licensed? Did they have adequate training? Were they traveling at a safe speed at the time of the collision? Did they try to slow down to avoid hitting the victim?
Do you need more information about a Vidalia street sweeper accident? Our team of pedestrian safety advocates are here to answer any questions that you may have. We care deeply that accident victims are aware of their rights and that negligent drivers are held accountable for their actions. Whether you just have legal questions or need a free, independent investigation into any collision we are here for you. You can reach out to us anytime at 678-940-1444.