At 5 AM Sunday, a Grady Hospital EMT was killed on his way home from work by an allegedly drunk driver who rear-ended his motorcycle on I-20 near Lee Road in Douglas County.
The EMT, Jason Dale Strickland of Bremen was driving his Harley Davidson west on I-20 near Lee Road. According to media reports, a Honda Element driven by Francisco Ferrer of Dallas hit Strickland from behind. (See WSB-TV and AJC reports.)
Whenever I hear of a drunk driver killing someone at 5 AM, I think of the Atlanta bars that close at 4 AM or even later. Under Georgia law, a business that serves alcohol to a person who is noticeably intoxicated at the time, knowing the drunk is likely to then drive, may be held accountable to people the drunk driver harms.
This incident also brings to mind the death of my high school friend, Rex Popham, who was struck from behind on his motorcycle near the same spot the summer before our 10th grade year at Douglas County High School. Rex was an indestrucible-seeming Fonzi-type character and the first friend my age to die. Up to then, we all thought we were 10 feet tall and bulletproof. Rex’s death was a huge wake-up call.
Ken Shigley is an Atlanta-based trial attorney who began his career as an Assistant District Attorney in the Tallapoosa Judicial Circuit when it included Douglas, Haralson, Paulding and Polk Counties. Now he is president of the 42,000 member State Bar of Georgia.