Atlanta Truck Crash Kills ‘Black Panther’ Stuntman and Three of His Children on Halloween

On Halloween night, Taraja Ramsess, a well-regarded stuntman, was driving home with his young children when he slammed into a broken-down tractor-trailer on an Atlanta-area highway. The horrific collision occurred along the exit ramp from Interstate 285 to Interstate 20 East.

Authorities report that Mr. Ramsess, his 13-year-old daughter, and his newborn daughter were pronounced dead at the scene of the tragic crash. His 10-year-old son succumbed to his injuries days later after being on life support.

In addition to appearing in Avengers: End Game, Mr. Ramsess appeared in Black Panther: Wakanda Forever, The Suicide Squad, Creed III, The Hunger Games: Catching Fire, Emancipation, and The Harder They Fall. The stuntman’s mother said Mr. Ramsess loved his children more than anything else.

If you or someone you love was involved in a devastating crash, contact Kicklighter Law. Call 912-754-6003 or contact us online to schedule a consultation. Located in Springfield, Georgia, we serve clients in Effingham County, Savannah, and the surrounding areas.

Blind Spot Truck Accidents

Blind spots are the areas surrounding a vehicle that are not visible to the driver, even when using their side and rear-view mirrors. Because of their size, commercial tractor trailers have several blind spots. Smaller passengers vehicles traveling in these blind spots are essentially invisible to truck drivers, this can lead to truck accidents.

For that reason, professional truck drivers receive specialized training on checking mirrors frequently and accounting for vehicles traveling nearby. Drivers who are fatigued, inattentive, or distracted can easily miss vehicles that enter their blind zones—often with devastating consequences to the occupants of those vehicles. If you or someone you love were affected by a truck driver’s negligence on the road, reach out to a truck accident lawyer today.

Where Are Truck Blind Spots?

Most of the nation’s freight is transported on semi-trucks. A standard semi-truck is approximately 8 and a half feet wide, 13 and a half feet tall, and up to 70 feet long. These sizable vehicles have four major blind spots:

  • Front: Truck drivers sit at a height of several feet above the road, creating a blind spot that extends anywhere between 15 to 25 feet out from the front bumper. Vehicles traveling directly in front of the truck in this zone are not visible to the driver.
  • Rear: The blind spot behind a commercial truck is larger, reaching up to 30 feet behind the back bumper. Vehicles should never follow trucks too closely because they are not visible to the truck driver—and because they cannot see the road ahead. If the truck stops suddenly for any reason, the driver behind them will not have much time or distance to react.
  • Left Side: The blind spot on the left side of the truck spans from the driver’s door back to the middle section of the trailer. Other drivers should never linger in this space and should pass quickly on the left to surpass this “no zone” as rapidly as possible.
  • Right Side: The right-side blind spot on the truck is larger than the left, running from the front of the cab all the way to the rear. For this reason, drivers should never attempt to pass trucks on the right. They should stay alert for trucks making wide right turns in front of them. Truck drivers may not see smaller vehicles trying to squeeze by before they make their turn.

Who Is Liable for Blind Spot Accidents with Trucks?

Even if the passenger vehicle is located in a truck’s blind spot when a crash occurs, they are not necessarily responsible for the accident. Every driver has a duty to operate their vehicle in a safe manner.

For truck drivers, that means utilizing their training and education to identify vehicles before they enter blind spots, make safe lane changes, slow down into turns, and maintain the speed limit.

Failure to take any of these safety precautions may constitute negligence. Individuals who are directly injured due to another party’s negligence may be eligible for financial compensation.

But drivers are not the only parties that may be liable for traffic crashes. Accidents involving commercial trucks are more complex than the average auto accident because so many parties are involved, including the mechanic, the parts’ manufacturer, and the driver’s employer.

After any type of motor vehicle accident involving a commercial truck, it is wise to contact a lawyer to discuss the case and take the next steps to pursue compensation for injuries, medical bills, property damage, and other losses.

Savannah Truck Accident Lawyers at Kicklighter Law Provide 5-Star Legal Counsel for Clients Across Georgia

Our skilled Savannah truck accident lawyers at Kicklighter Law have experience with claims against trucking firms, drivers, and insurance companies. We are determined to reach a good outcome for clients injured by careless drivers. Call us at 912-754-6003 or inquire online to schedule a consultation. From our office in Springfield, we assist clients in and around Springfield, Savannah, Effingham County, Georgia, and the surrounding areas.

What Are Common Truck Driver Distractions?

People who are used to driving oversized trucks might not be thinking about how dangerous those large vehicles are. These behemoths are much longer, wider, and heavier than passenger cars and trucks, and can do much more damage in accidents. Truck drivers are supposed to be 100 percent focused when behind the wheel, but like everyone else, sometimes their attention gets taken away.

Smartphone Use

According to the FMCSA (Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration), people who text and drive are 23 more times likely to be involved in motor vehicle accidents. Most people realize that driving and cell phone use is a dangerous combination, but it is a habit for so many. The real problem comes when truckers text and drive because this uses the eyes, hands, and brain. Checking emails and social media is just as bad – and even worse – because there are also photos and videos to look at and listen to.  

Even if the trucker is talking to someone hands-free, it is still a distraction. While a pleasant conversation might be fine, an intense discussion or heated argument takes a lot of energy and requires additional focus. Passengers inside the truck can also compete for a truck driver’s attention.

Loose Items Inside the Truck

Reaching for a device and not being able to grab it leads to taking one’s eyes off the road. An obvious example is a Smartphone, but truck drivers might also reach for a charger cord or a piece of gum. Making adjustments to a GPS, radio, or fan can also cause a trucker to lose control of the vehicle. If something like a cup falls on the ground, a trucker might look down and then try to grab it.

Truck drivers keep in contact with their employers through dispatching devices, and also use these to plan for poor weather conditions, map out directions, and keep their logs. These should not be used while driving, as doing so significantly  increases the risk of a collision.


Long hours on the road cause drivers to become bored and lose focus, and truck drivers are no exception. Since they spend so much time behind the wheel, fatigue often sets in and that makes it even harder to concentrate.

Eating and Drinking in the Driver’s Seat

Truck drivers have scheduled breaks to have meals and rest, but some still choose to eat and drink behind the wheel. When the pressure is on to make deliveries, some might even skip their breaks to save time and have their meals while driving. Messy foods are even more dangerous because a second hand is often needed. If the food or drink is hot, a spill could injure the trucker and lead to a serious accident.

The Savannah Truck Accident Lawyers at Kicklighter Law Help Clients Who Were Impacted by Truck Accidents

At Kicklighter Law, our knowledgeable Savannah truck accident lawyers work with clients who have been in truck accidents and fight to get them the compensation they deserve. For a consultation, call our Springfield, Georgia offices at 912-754-6003 or complete our online form. Our service area includes Springfield, Effingham County, Savannah, and surrounding areas.

What Are the Types of Truck Accidents?

Close to 70 percent of consumer and commercial goods reach their destinations via large trucks and some estimates show that by the year 2030, truck accidents will be the fifth leading cause of death in this country. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMSCA) claims that more than 100,000 truck accidents occur each year, with about 5,000 fatalities. What are the most common types of truck accidents, and why do they happen?

Head-on and Rear-End Collisions

Head-on truck collisions can happen when a truck driver loses control of the vehicle, and it moves into oncoming traffic. Other reasons for head-on and rear-end collisions include driving while fatigued, driving under the influence, or being distracted by a cell phone. Another possibility is a truck defect, like brake failure.

When the accident impacts the other vehicle’s back end, the underlying reasons are similar. Tailgating can also cause rear-end crashes. Truckers must allow extra following space since their vehicles are so much larger and heavier than passenger cars, trucks, and SUVs, requiring extra time and distance to stop. Without the added distance, there might not be enough time to move out of the way or stop quickly enough to prevent a crash.

Rollover and Jackknife Crashes

Overloaded cargo, tire blowouts, and excessive speed can lead to rollover crashes. This is more commonly seen on curves when trucks can fall over to one side. The driver might not be injured but if there is another vehicle alongside, a rollover could be even more serious, or deadly. 

Jackknife accidents happen when a semi-truck’s trailer and cab lose their straight formation. The cab keeps moving in the same direction, but the trailer swings toward it. The root cause of many jackknife accidents is improper braking. If a truck driver uses the engine brake by mistake or brakes too fast, it could throw the truck into a skid and a resulting jackknife. Nearby vehicles might be unable to avoid crashing into the truck, and this can set off a chain reaction with other ones.

Side-Impact and Sideswipe Accidents

Also known as “T-bone collisions,” side-impact truck accidents happen when the front part of a truck slams into the side of a vehicle. The sides of passenger vehicles have less protection than the front or rear, and being hit by the full weight of a truck from the side can be especially devastating. These crashes can occur when truck drivers ignore traffic signs and signals.

Sideswipes happen when the sides of two vehicles make contact. This can happen when a truck abruptly brakes or speeds up, causing it to veer out of its lane. Oversteering on curves can also cause sideswipe accidents.

Are There Other Kinds of Truck Accidents?

One of the most frightening kinds of truck accidents is an “override accident,” when a smaller vehicle gets pushed under a truck’s trailer in a crash. Since semi-trucks are so much higher than passenger vehicles, many (but not all) have rear underride protection guards. Underride accidents can be deadly, and this is another reason why it is so important to maintain extra-long following distances behind tractor-trailers.

Shifting or spilling cargo can also cause serious accidents. When a truck is not loaded properly the cargo can shift, making the driver lose control. If the cargo spills out of the truck, other drivers might not be able to react quickly enough to avoid a crash.

The Effingham County Truck Accident Lawyers at Kicklighter Law Seek Compensation for Injured Clients

Truck accidents are serious business. You can benefit from having trusted legal representation to protect your rights in a claim, settlement, or case. For a consultation, contact Kicklighter Law. Our skilled Effingham County truck accident lawyers can explain your options and fight to get you the compensation you deserve. Call our Springfield, Georgia offices at 912-754-6003 or complete our online form today. We serve clients throughout Springfield, Effingham County, Savannah, and surrounding areas.

How to Avoid Semi-Trucks on Interstate 95

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Each day, roughly seven million drivers are traveling on Georgia roads. Out of that number, thousands of semi-trucks are carrying truckloads of products to and from locations. With so many semi-trucks on Georgia interstates, it’s important to know how to avoid a semi-truck accident:

  1. Remain visible.

    Semi-trucks are incredibly huge vehicles, which means their blind spots are big as well. A semi-trucks’ blind spots include 30 feet behind the truck, 20 feet in front of the truck, two lanes to the right of the truck, and one lane to the left of the truck. A general rule of thumb is if you cannot see the driver’s reflection in his side view mirror, he cannot see you.

  2. Pass safely.

    When you pass a semi-truck, do so quickly and safely. If possible, keep a lane between you and the semi-truck while passing. If that’s not possible, pass the semi-truck quickly – do not linger in the blind spot. Other tips to pass a semi-truck safely include:
    Never pass a semi-truck in the right lane, as their blind spot is much bigger in the right lane.
    Never pass a semi-truck while going downhill, as these trucks pick up speed easily.
    Never pass a semi-truck when it has its blinker on and is trying to switch lanes.

  3. Step #3: Don’t cut off a semi-truck.

    A semi-truck needs much more space to make a complete stop than a regular vehicle. If you cut off a semi-truck, the driver won’t be able to stop before hitting your car. If you need to drive into the semi-truck’s lane, either let the semi-truck pass you first or make sure there is at least 20 feet of space in front of the truck.

Have you been injured in a semi-truck accident in Chatham County Georgia?

A semi-truck accident can be devastating to everyone involved. If you or a family member are in a truck accident, contact our attorneys immediately. If the truck driver caused the accident, you have the right to sue.

What to Do After A Truck Accident

Truck accidents can leave victims with serious vehicle damages, lifelong medical issues, and crippling financial burdens. Trucking companies are required to follow rigorous safety guidelines in an effort to reduce the risk of accidents, but those guidelines are not always followed. That’s why it’s important to have an experienced legal team at your side to ensure you receive fair compensation after a truck accident.

Call Kicklighter Law at 912-754-6003 Today If You’ve Been Involved in a Truck Crash.

If you are in a truck accident:

1. Call the Authorities

Call 911 immediately following the accident and seek medical attention. If you are not injured, check on others who may be involved in the crash and see if they need medical attention. When law enforcement arrives, they will document the scene. Never leave the scene of an accident without involving law enforcement and allowing them to gather evidence.

2. Don’t Give Statements

Anything you say to the police, insurance companies, or other drivers can be used against you in court. That’s why it’s important to never give recorded statements to anyone without the guidance from an experienced truck accident attorney, like the team at Kicklighter Law.

3. Call a Truck Accident Attorney

After a crash, it’s important to contact a trusted, experienced truck accident attorney as soon as possible. Trucking companies almost always employ a team of expert lawyers to protect themselves from damaging lawsuits. This makes it crucial to have your own legal team fighting for you. The Kicklighter Law team will stand by your side, holding trucking companies accountable and fighting for your rights.

Injured in a Truck Accident? Call Kicklighter Law at 912-754-6003 Today!


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