Police ID driver who died after truck flew off bridge onto I-75

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Driver killed after truck flies off bridge onto I-75 in Cobb

Authorities have identified the driver who was killed Monday after his pickup truck flew off an I-75 overpass in Cobb County and landed on the interstate below.

Dennis Farve, 33, of Dallas, was dead at the scene, according to Cobb County police. Investigators believe Farve rammed his gray Chevrolet Silverado through a concrete barrier on the Akers Mill Road HOV ramp “for reasons unknown.”

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The truck landed cab-first in the gore area. Farve was the only occupant.

The crash at Akers Mill Road shut down multiple lanes near I-285 while authorities investigated, the WSB 24-hour Traffic Center reported. The interstate reopened just after 2:45 p.m.

Cobb County firefighters work to clear the wreckage after a pickup truck ran through a concrete wall on Akers Mill Road and plunged onto I-75.
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Cobb County firefighters work to clear the wreckage after a pickup truck ran through a concrete wall on Akers Mill Road and plunged onto I-75.

Credit: Alyssa Pointer/alyssa.pointer@ajc.com

Credit: Alyssa Pointer/alyssa.pointer@ajc.com

According to traffic investigators, Farve exited I-75 North onto the HOV ramp to Akers Mill Road just before 12:45 p.m. He took the ramp “at a high rate of speed,” going through an intersection and crashing through a concrete barrier before plunging into the concrete below.

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Georgia Department of Transportation spokeswoman Natalie Dale said the ramp has signs indicating the speed limit is 35 mph and there is a signal ahead. The barriers used on the bridge are “not designed to withstand a head-on collision at a presumably high rate of speed.”

“Designs are meant to address real-world conditions where a motorist is actively attempting to avoid a collision by methods like braking or steering away from the wall,” she said.

The agency was awaiting details of the accident Monday.

“There are clearly some highly unusual circumstances and we are eager to learn what those circumstances are from law enforcement,” Dale said.

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Workers clear the scene of the deadly accident.
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Workers clear the scene of the deadly accident.

Credit: Alyssa Pointer/alyssa.pointer@ajc.com

Credit: Alyssa Pointer/alyssa.pointer@ajc.com

The crash was reminiscent of another deadly incident on I-75 in March 2007 that killed members of the Bluffton University baseball team. The team's bus took the HOV lane toward Northside Drive and exited the interstate at "highway speed," AJC.com previously reported. There were no skid marks on the pavement after the bus crashed through the intersection and fell onto the interstate.

The crash killed five players, the driver and the driver’s wife. Twenty-eight other people on the bus were treated for injuries.

MORE: Remembering the 2007 Bluffton baseball team bus crash in Atlanta

After the 2007 deadly crash, the signage at several ramps, including the Akers Mill ramp, were upgraded in accordance with National Transportation Safety Board guidelines, Dale said.

— Please return to AJC.com for updates.