Society

Six Teens Die In Two Different Crashes In Atlanta

| by David Bonner

Six teenagers died in two separate auto accidents in Atlanta on the afternoon of April 24.

The first fatal crash happened in South Fulton County, when five students from Langston Hughes High School collided with a semi tractor trailer, reports WXIA.

Four of the victims, identified by police only as teenage boys, were killed instantly. The fifth person, a teenage girl, was rescued by firefighters from the backseat. She is reportedly recovering with injuries that are not life threatening.

According to a preliminary investigation, police say the driver of the car carrying the teens ran a red light at the intersection just as the truck was entering the intersection.

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About two hours later, a school bus carrying students from Roswell High School reportedly collided with a car carrying two brothers from Lassister High School, both of whom were killed in the crash. James Pratt, 18, and Joseph Pratt, 14, reportedly died instantly on impact.

The four students on the bus were not injured and were picked up by their parents at the scene. Authorities have yet to determine the cause of that crash.

In February, the National Safety Council released its annual traffic fatality estimates, which show a 6 percent increase from 2015 to 2016, reports The New York Times.

According to the statistics, 2016 was the first time since 2007 that more than 40,000 people have died in motor vehicle accidents in a single year.

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"Why are we O.K. with this?" Deborah Hersman, the National Safety Council president and chief executive, said at a news conference. “Complacency is killing us.”

Safety advocates point to data suggesting an increase in distracted driving, blaming apps like Facebook, Google Maps, Snapchat and other such distractions.

"It’s not just talking on the phone that’s a problem today," explained Jonathan Adkins, executive director of the Governors Highway Safety Association. "You now have all these other apps that people can use on their phones."

However, he put most of the blame on old-fashioned causes. "It’s still the same things that are killing drivers -- belts, booze and speed," he said.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, about "half of all traffic fatalities involve unbelted occupants, and almost a third involve drivers who were impaired by drugs or alcohol," reports The New York Times.

As for the six teens killed in Atlanta, comments on social media summed up the city's reaction to the tragedies:

Such a sad day, 6 teenage boys killed in 2 accidents in one afternoon.

Prayers to the family. So sad. We all need to be more careful on the roads.

So sorry for these teenagers the families must be devastated, I am so sorry. May they R.I.P. My prayers to the families.

Prayers to the families and first responders. Every parents' worst nightmare. I cannot even wrap my head around such a tragic loss. May the eternal light shine upon them.

Sources: WXIA, The New York Times / Photo credit: Pixabay

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