Jamecca Parris-McKnight Killed, Child Hurt in Truck Accident on I-675 in Clayton County, GA
Clayton County, GA -- July 7, 2022, Jamecca Parris-McKnight was killed and a child was injured due to an accident involving a semi-trailer.
Investigators reported that the crash took place at around 10:30 p.m. along I-675 near Anvil Block Road.
Officials said that 31-year-old Jamecca Parris-McKnight was outside of a vehicle that was disabled along the right shoulder of the interstate. Witnesses reportedly saw a tractor-trailer approaching the disabled vehicle "swerving in and out of lanes" until it crashed into the disabled vehicle, hitting Parris-McKnight, as well.
Due to the collision, Parris-McKnight sustained fatal injuries. A child with Parris-McKnight also reportedly had injuries. Police arrested the truck driver, whom they identified as John Nichols, for vehicular homicide and failure to maintain lane. No further information is available at this time.
Commentary on Jamecca Parris-McKnight Truck Accident in Clayton County
Considering the very serious charges mentioned in reports, it seems unlikely that this happened without the truck driver doing something wrong. To be clear, these reports are still early and barely scratch the surface of what actually happened. For all we know, this is some big misunderstanding, and factors the trucker couldn't avoid led to this awful tragedy. But even if the obvious answer is true, that the truck driver made a mistake, simply charging them may not be enough to truly get a grieving family the justice they deserve.
Let me give an example from a situation I handled to explain why more thorough investigations are often necessary after serious commercial truck wrecks. In that particular situation, a truck driver fell asleep at the wheel after driving for over 20 hours straight. That was unquestionably reckless behavior, and any attorney likely could have taken the basic facts all the way to the courthouse. But my thirty years of experience taught me long ago to always get the full story in case something unusual happened. That's why this example turned out to be anything but simple or straight-forward.
From records, we found out that the driver was recklessly driving beyond legal hours of service to meet an unreasonable deadline his employer set. This company would routinely set these ridiculous deadlines, expecting drivers to cut every possible corner to meet them. If they didn't, they risked losing their jobs. Naturally, the led to drivers taking risks behind the wheel to continue putting food on their family's table. It was just a matter of time before someone got hurt.
So why does that matter exactly? Well, when folks come to me for help, there's also one other thing they want: accountability. Someone's actions changed their lives, and they need to face the appropriate consequences. In a scenario with some reckless trucker, those consequences may be stiff but simple. However, if a jury sees there's a whole company putting the public in danger, the consequences must be such that they clean up their act before more people get hurt.
I'm certainly not saying anything like that happened here. I simply know how important it is for folks to know their rights and the possible steps they can take in the unthinkable event they're involved in a tragedy like this one. Hopefully steps are being taken here to ensure experienced professionals are looking into why this truck was driving erratically and what can be done to prevent other families from suffering such devastating consequences.