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Accident Report Detail

Cates Trucking, Inc., Tractor- Semi-Trailor/Multiple Vehcile Collision and Override, I-285

Executive Summary

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.

Probable Cause

‚ÄčThe National Transportation Safety Board determines that the probable cause of this accident was the failure of the truckdriver to maintain the proper level of attention to the driving task and perceive the standing vehicles on the roadway and stop his vehicle short. The Safety Board believes that the driver's inattention to the traffic in front of him may have resulted from fatigue.

Contributing to the accident was the failure of the Georgia Department of Transportation to implement existing standards and guidelines for controlling traffic through construction zones, which permitted a 3 1/2-mile backup of slow moving and stopping traffic.

Accident Location: Atlanta , GA    
Accident Date: 6/20/1977
Accident ID: HAR7805

Date Adopted: 9/14/1978
NTSB Number: HAR-78-05
NTIS Number: PB-287572/AS

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