Tractor-trailer loses control on I-285, causes 3 separate accidents

A Walmart tractor-trailer lost control on Interstate 285 northbound Saturday morning, jackknifed, damaged a vehicle and caused three separate accidents, one of them fatal.

About one-half mile south of the Donald Lee Hollowell exit, the tractor-trailer struck the median wall and damaged a vehicle headed south on I-285, Atlanta police spokesman Sgt. Gregory Lyon said.

Drivers of other vehicles in the tractor-trailer’s path tried evasive maneuvers, but ended up in accidents of their own.

  • A Chevy Impala ran into the rear of a Nissan Maxima.
  • A Flagship Transportation tractor-trailer struck a SWIFT Company tractor-trailer.
  • The same Flagship tractor-trailer ran into the rear of a BMW, sending that vehicle across I-285 and into a fence. The BMW came to a stop in the 600 block of Harwell Rd.

Northbound and southbound lanes of I-285 were shut down for about an hour before two lanes were opened for traffic. All lanes reopened just before noon, according to the Georgia Department of Transportation.

The driver of the BMW, identified by the Fulton County Medical Examiner’s Office as 59-year-old Sanford Coleman of Fayetteville, was taken to Grady Memorial Hospital, where he died a short time later, Lyon said.

It is not clear the total number of people injured in the accidents.

“From what I gather,” he said, “any other injuries suffered were minor.”

John Paul Cromwell, the driver of the Flagship tractor-trailer, faces misdemeanor charges of following too closely and second-degree vehicular homicide, he said.

Coleman was one of three people who died Saturday in accidents on metro Atlanta interstates.

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