The criminal charges against a 25-year-old Georgia man accused of causing a deadly accident in late 2018 have been upgraded from vehicular homicide in the second degree to vehicular homicide in the first degree. Media reports suggest that prosecutors decided to pursue the more serious charge after a Marietta Police Department investigation into the Dec. 12 crash revealed that the McDonough resident was traveling at speeds of up to 98 mph before losing control of his vehicle. The posted speed limit on the stretch of Interstate 75 where the accident occurred is 65 mph.

According to police, the man’s vehicle was traveling southbound on Interstate 75 near the South Marietta Parkway when it strayed onto the left shoulder and struck the median wall. The vehicle then veered back onto the roadway where it was struck by a pickup truck. The force of the collision propelled the pickup truck into the northbound lanes of Interstate 75 where it was struck by an oncoming tractor-trailer. A passenger in the pickup truck was killed in the accident.

A new arrest warrant for the man issued on Feb. 22 alleges that he was exceeding the posted speed limit by more than 30 mph and driving with reckless disregard for the safety of other road users. Police say that the man has yet to turn himself in.

When police determine that deadly car accidents were caused by intoxication or acts of gross recklessness, the drivers responsible often face decades of incarceration on vehicular manslaughter or homicide charges. However, the dependent family members of those killed may still pursue wrongful death lawsuits. In these situations, personal injury attorneys with experience in this area could initiate litigation against the negligent motorist’s insurance company.

Source: The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, “Cops: man was driving nearly 100 mph before fatal Cobb crash”, Kristal Dixon, March 1, 2019