A crash on 1-75 involving three vehicles on November 18, 2018, has resulted in the death of one person, serious injury to two others, and criminal charges against the driver responsible.
Evelyn Nowell, 73, of Cedartown, Georgia had stopped her Chevrolet Impala in the right lane of I-75 around 11:55 p.m. A tractor-trailer came up behind her vehicle and swerved to the left to avoid hitting her car, but ended up side-swiping the Impala. The tractor-trailer left the side of the roadway and hit a Honda Accord parked in the emergency lane.
The Accord had two adults and one child inside. The Accord was pushed into a guardrail and the tractor-trailer landed on it, according to the Georgia State Patrol. 56-year-old Bobbie Whitman, a passenger in the Accord, was killed. The driver of the Accord was seriously injured, but an eight-year-old boy who was also a passenger was unhurt. Nowell was injured and was taken to Cartersville Medical Center.
Nowell faces charges of
- driving under the influence (DUI) of alcohol,
- vehicular homicide in the first degree, and
- improper slowing or stopping on a roadway.
Illegal Stopping on a Roadway
In Georgia, it is illegal to stop a vehicle in certain places. Under O.C.G.A. 40-6-203, a person may not stop, stand, or park his or vehicle in any of the following places.
- On the roadway side of any vehicle parked at the edge of a curb of a street.
- On a sidewalk.
- Within an intersection.
- On a crosswalk.
- Between a safety zone and an adjacent curb, or within 30 feet of points on the curb immediately opposite the ends of a safety zone.
- Alongside a street excavation if it would obstruct traffic.
- On any bridge or other elevated structure on a highway or within a highway tunnel.
- On any railroad tracks.
- On any controlled-access highway.
- In the area between roadways of a divided highway, including crossovers.
- At any location where official signs prohibit stopping.
Charges Alongside DUI
Many times, a charge of illegal stopping on a roadway is the justification for the initial DUI stop. When this is the case, officers can stop your vehicle if you have begun to move, or approach your vehicle if you are still stopped. Officers will look for signs of intoxication, such as:
- bloodshot eyes,
- slurred speech,
- inability to stand or walk,
- failure to perform well on field sobriety tests, and
- difficulty focusing or forming thoughts.
With the help of an experienced attorney, you can challenge the reason for the initial stop to defend a DUI charge.
Contact a Georgia DUI Defense Attorney
If you or someone you care about has been arrested for driving under the influence, illegal stopping, or any other related traffic offense there are defenses which can be raised to protect your constitutional rights.