The driver involved in a collision near Thomson that resulted in double fatalities now faces criminal charges. The accident happened on Tuesday afternoon, November 2nd. The Georgia State Patrol alleged that the driver drove under the influence of meth.
The investigators identified James Whitaker as the impaired driver and the operator of a white Dodge Dakota that crashed into the back of a tractor-trailer. It happened a few miles east of Thomson. On Wednesday morning, November 3rd, the Columbia County Coroner’s Office said that two passengers in the Dodge died in the collision near Thomson.
The coroner’s office has identified the victims but is yet to release their names pending notification of next of kin. The arrest warrant placed the collision’s time between 2:30 p.m. and 3:15 p.m. A GSP trooper happened upon the crash site around 3:08 p.m. on westbound Interstate 20 near mile marker 178.
The preliminary investigation revealed that Whitaker traveled behind a tractor-trailer in the right lane. The tractor-trailer then stopped for traffic due to construction. The Dodge was following too closely and struck the back of the stopped tractor-trailer. Medics conveyed the Dodge driver to Doctors Hospital in Atlanta for treatment of non-life-threatening injuries.
The fatal victims were the front seat and backseat passengers. The tractor-trailer driver was uninjured. Whitaker faces two counts of homicide by vehicle, following too closely, driving while license suspended/revoked, and driving under the influence of drugs.
The GSP is being assisted in the investigation by Troop E Specialized Collision Reconstruction Team and the Georgia Department of Public Safety Motor Compliance Division.
Accident victims are entitled to financial compensation under Georgia law. Contact our Atlanta auto accident lawyers at Bethune Law Firm to learn how we can help you.