A family of four was on their way home to Cartersville when an unmanned tractor-trailer struck their vehicle Thursday night, killing the mom instantly and injuring her two 4-year-old girls on Highway 41 in Emerson. Police have since charged the driver who they said had been driving under the influence.
Ivan Delgado, 53, of Rome, NY, was charged with vehicular homicide, involuntary manslaughter, reckless conduct and DUI, according to Emerson police. Delgado, who was working for Celadon Trucking of Indiana, was transported to the Bartow County jail, police said.
The incident happened shortly after 8:20 p.m. Thursday near Zep industries, according to police. When officers arrived at the scene they found a Toyota Tundra pickup truck overturned and pinned underneath the cab of the 18-wheeler, police Chief Stan Bradley said. Both vehicles were on top of the guardrail on the southbound shoulder of the highway, he said.
There were four people in the Toyota, a mother, father, and their two daughters, but before officers arrived bystanders were able to remove one of the girls was removed from the vehicle while rescue workers spent an hour and a half extricating the other three, Bradley said.
Investigators said the driver of the tractor-trailer, Delgado, was conducting a pre-trip inspection of his truck in the parking lot of Zep Industries before leaving with his load.
“During this time the truck began to roll due to failure of the driver to set the parking brakes,” Bradley said in a news release. “The truck traveled, uncontrolled, down a step entrance or exit to the business, gaining speed as it traveled towards U.S. 41where it struck the Toyota, which was traveling north on the highway.
“The tractor-trailer pushed the Toyota across the median, across all southbound lanes, with both vehicles overturning.”
Kyra Carr, 31, died at the scene, police said. Her husband, 36-year-old Reed Carr, was transported to Keenstone Hospital in stable condition and her two 4-year-old daughters were transported to Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta at Scottish Rite, Bradley said.
The husband, who was driving, told investigators he and his family were driving home to Cartersville, and he did not see the rolling truck until it struck his vehicle, according to 11 Alive News. He was treated and released from the hospital, the news station reported.
Officers performed a field sobriety test on Delgado and determined he was under the influence of drugs, the news station reported. The tractor-trailer was hualing corrosive hazardous materials, some of which had leaked, Bradley said. The cleanup took about eight and half hours, causing all lanes of the highway to be backed up until about 5 a.m. Officials determined that all materials were common household cleaners and degreasers.