Tractor-trailer crash leads to fire, injury

Logo on former Cobb Police Department Headquarterslogo at the old Cobb Police Department Headquarters (photo by Larry Felton Johnson)

Serious injury collision near Hickory Grove Road

A serious injury collision leading to a tractor-trailer crash and fire occurred today on the northbound lanes of I-75 north of Hickory Grove Road in Cobb County at about 5:19 a.m.  According to a public information release by Officer Sarah O’Hara of the department’s public information unit, the Cobb County Police Department’s Selective Traffic Enforcement Program (STEP) Unit is investigating the accident and is seeking information from the public.

Tractor-trailer crash and burn

The investigators reported, “a white 2018 Freightliner tractor drawing a semi-trailer loaded with scrap metal drifted from its lane and struck a series of attenuator and concrete barriers that ran along the roadway for over 500 feet.”  When the tractor-trailer reached the end of the barrier it crashed through a metal guardrail and stopped in a drainage ditch on the right side of the interstate.  The tractor then rolled onto its side and caught fire, becoming fully engulfed in flames, which caused a nearby sound barrier to burst into flames.

Driver hospitalized with non-life-threatening injuries

The driver of the vehicle, John Thurston, 38, of Millen Georgia, was taken to WellStar Kennestone Hospital and was treated for non-life-threatening injuries.

According to the news release, the collision remains under investigation and anyone with information is asked to contact Cobb County Police Department’s STEP Unit at 770-499-3987.


The STEP unit

The Special Operations page of the Cobb County Police Department describes the purpose of the unit, “The Selective Traffic Enforcement Unit is responsible for investigating all fatal traffic crashes, enforcement of traffic laws in those areas which analysis indicates an elevated amount of crashes. They are also responsible for the administration and execution of the Motor Carrier Safety Assistance Program. They also take part in special security details, and investigate crashes involving Department vehicles when requested.”