Runaway Truck Kills Woman, Truck Driver Hit With Serious Chargesby Jana Ritter - Published: 8/14/2015
Another trucking tragedy occurred Thursday evening, when a runaway tractor-trailer crashed into a pick-up truck killing a mother and injuring three family members that were riding with her. The incident occurred around 8:30 p.m. on Highway 41 in Emerson, Atlanta and according to City Police Chief, Stan Bradley, the truck driver had parked in the driveway of Zep Inc. to do a safety inspection on his big rig, which was hauling corrosive cleaning chemicals. Although he was not in the truck at the time, his fatal mistake was forgetting to put the parking brake on and the vehicle rolled downhill into the northbound lane of the highway.
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Bradley reported that the truck driver was unable to stop the semi truck before it crashed into the on-coming pick-up truck, a Toyota Tundra carrying a man, a woman and their two young children. The father had been driving and was taken to hospital non-life-threatening injuries, but tragically the mother who had been riding in the front passenger seat was killed immediately on impact. Their two children, (an infant and a toddler), had been riding in the Toyota as well and were taken to Children's Healthcare of Atlanta in serious but stable condition. It took two hours for emergency crews to free the father and children from the truck, making the experience even more horrific for the survivors. Police said that because the tractor-trailer was carrying hazardous materials, it slowed down the process of removing it.
The truck driver is 52 year-old Ivan Delgado; a contract driver from New York who was arrested at the scene after police performed a field sobriety test and determined him to be under the influence of narcotics. Delgado was immediately charged with DUI and later charged with First Degree Vehicular Homicide, Involuntary Manslaughter, Reckless Conduct and Failure to Exercise Due Care.
“The brakes, the parking brake on the vehicle was either not set or failed causing the vehicle to become unsecured and rolled down the hill, striking the red truck as it was traveling northbound on Highway 41,” said Chief Bradley.
The father driving the Toyota pick-up told investigators he had been driving with his wife and children home to Cartersville, and he did not even see the rolling semi-truck until it hit his vehicle. As of early Friday, the two young children remained in serious condition and while the father’s condition was not known, he is expected to survive.