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Atlanta HERO Operator Killed in I-85 Highway Accident

It’s always painful to Atlanta car accident lawyers to come across law enforcement personnel who are killed in accidents on the job. A 45-year-old Highway Emergency Response Operator (HERO) unit operator was killed on Monday, after his HERO unit was hit by a truck. The victim was attending to a stranded motorist on Interstate 85 south of Atlanta, when a truck pulling a trailer with heavy equipment crashed into his HERO unit. Theat-fault truck struck the victim, and also struck the stranded pickup truck.
The HERO unit operator died on the scene, while the driver of the stranded pickup truck managed to escape the truck as it approached. According to the Georgia Department of Transportation, this was the first death of a Highway Emergency Response Operator while on duty, since the program’s inception in 1995. According to the Georgia State Patrol, charges are likely to be filed against the driver of the truck.
Investigations into the accident are going on. These are likely to look at the speed of the truck driver in this accident
My heart goes out to the family of this man. According to the victim’s family, his lifelong dream was to be a part of law enforcement, and becoming part of the HERO unit had been a dream come true for him. It’s always sad when we have law-enforcement officers, who are out there putting their lives on the line for our safety, injured or killed in the line of duty. Many of them suffer severe injury or even death while trying to aid victims of car wrecks and other violent accidents.
Specific mention must be made here of the Atlanta HERO operators who do dangerous, and often deadly work, for the public good. The HERO unit operator here was helping a stranded motorist in need. Any HERO operator, who responds to a stranded motorist on a busy highway, is aware of the kind of risks his job entails, but he does his job anyway.

In order to minimize the risk of serious injury or death following a car accident, driver’s should heed the following advice from the Atlanta Police Department:

What should I do if I’m involved in a car accident?

  • Citizens involved in car accidents should exchange information including:
  • Driver’s license number
  • Vehicle license number
  • Contact information (home addresses, telephone number and email address)
  • Vehicle insurance 
  • Traffic collision location ( cross streets, address or street names)
  • Accident time 

How do I contact the police after the accident?
Dial 9-1-1 and follow the tips below.

  • Be Patient: Wait for Police to Arrive 

After dialing 9-1-1, wait for the police to arrive to create an accident report. Please note that most insurance companies require a report to file a claim. 

  • Get Specific: Provide All Accident Details to the Arriving Officer 

Information about the car accident should be given to the arriving officer. All car accidents should be reported, especially accidents involving injuries or significant property damage. 

  • Clear the Road: Don’t Block Traffic

Georgia State law requires that all vehicles be safely moved out of the roadway. 

How do I obtain a car accident report? 

The City of Atlanta has partnered with to allow motorists to obtain police reports. A fee will apply to access the online report and requires users to enter name, date of crash, road of occurrence and vehicle identification number.  

You can also contact APD Central Records Unit at 404-546-7461.  Please note that the reporting process may take up to five business days before becoming available. 

Can I report a car accident if police are not called to the scene?

A personal report of accident can be completed if a law enforcement officer is not called to make a report. The report is for personal use and record keeping and should not be sent to the Atlanta Police Department.  The Georgia Department of Transportation offers additional resources.

What should I do if my car is towed after an accident?

For information on how to release a vehicle that has been impounded by the Atlanta Police Department, call the APD Property Control Unit at 404-546-4330.

Who should I contact if I have a question about my accident report?

The APD Officer who wrote the report is the primary contact for questions. If you need assistance locating the reporting officer, contact APD Public Affairs at 404-546-6873.

Robert J. Fleming has been handling wrongful death cases, dental malpractice, bus accidents, car accident cases and premises injury cases for individuals and families who have been harmed, injured or died as a result of the carelessness or negligence of another for more than 20 years. He practices in and around the Atlanta, Georgia area including handling lawsuits in Fulton, DeKalb, Clayton, Gwinnett, Cobb and other counties and nearby cities including Alpharetta, Austell, Avondale Estates, Chamblee, College Park, Conyers, Duluth, Decatur, Doraville, Hapeville, Johns Creek, Jonesboro, Lawrenceville, Norcross, Peachtree City, Riverdale, Roswell, Sandy Springs, Stone Mountain, and Smyrna. If you have been seriously injured in a car accident and would like discuss your case, contact Robert J. Fleming directly on (404) 525-5150 or contact us online.

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