Last week, a Prattville man was killed when his car left the road and crashed into a ravine off Interstate 85. The accident occurred around 8:20 in the morning on Tuesday, April 28th, near the Chantilly Parkway between Taylor Road and Atlanta Highway. Ryan Smith, 26, was driving his 1997 Mercury Gran Marquis, when the vehicle left the road and crashed into a ravine. Smith was pronounced dead at the scene. Both the northbound and southbound lanes of I-85 were shut down for two hours as police conducted an investigation and road crews worked to clean up the accident.
No other cars appear to have been involved in the accident, and the cause of the crash is unknown at this time. A single-vehicle accident where the car leaves the road may be the result of driver fatigue or an emergency medical condition that causes the driver to lose control. There are also other factors which can cause such an accident through no fault of the driver, such as:
- Mechanical failure of the automobile due to a defect in the car or a component part, such as a stuck accelerator or steering or brake failure, or from a negligent repair at an auto service center
- Reckless driving of another vehicle in the area, whose speeding, distracted driving or sudden stop or lane change can cause another driver to run off the road
- Road hazards and roadway defects, including debris blown on the road from a construction zone, potholes and roads which are designed or built in an unsafe manner regarding blind curves and steep inclines
The cause of this particular tragedy is still under investigation and may never be known. If it can be proven that the negligence or misconduct of another is to blame, the family of Ryan Smith may be able to recover money damages for his wrongful death to hold the responsible party accountable for their wrongdoing and help with funeral and burial expenses and other aspects of this tragic loss.