By 3:05 p.m., e.d.t., on June 20, 1977, traffic had backed up and stopped in the right lane of I-285, eastbound, just south of downtown Atlanta, Georgia, and west of a construction zone located on connecting I-75, southbound. An eastbound Cates Trucking, Inc., tractor-semitrailer combination vehicle approached the standing traffic between 35 and 45 mph, and collided with and overrode the last automobile in the queue. The automobile was pushed into the vehicle ahead, and two other vehicles to its front were subsequently involved. No fire ensued. Four persons in the automobile were killed, and one was hospitalized; a second driver was injured slightly.