Imagine that you were taking tourists on a horse-drawn carriage ride to see the downtown Atlanta site. As you are in the midst of a pleasant ride, a car suddenly slams into the carriage. That is exactly what happened last April 16, on Peachtree Street in downtown Atlanta.
Witnesses told police that several cars were speeding, ran a red light and appeared to be racing, when one of the cars smashed into the back of the horse-drawn carriage. The rear of the carriage was split in two, stringing pieces of the carriage across the street. The force of the crash was so strong that it ejected the three passengers and driver. Donald Borchardt, the carriage driver, remembered flying about 30 feet through the air and coming down on a hood of a car, sustaining serious injuries.
All four people aboard were seriously injured and were taken to a local Atlanta hospital for medical treatment. Mr. Borchardt, the 62-year-old horse-drawn carriage driver, sustained severe injuries to his body, including six broken ribs, a broken clavicle, a serious head injury, numerous bruises and a fractured neck.
Gerald Odom, the driver who slammed into the horse-drawn carriage, was driving on a suspended license. He was arrested and charged with driving too fast for conditions, following too closely, and violating the open container law.
Mr. Borchardt's life changed in a blink of an eye. After sustaining seriously injuries that prohibited him from returning to work, he filed a lawsuit against Odom and Progressive Mountain Insurance. Atlanta personal injury attorney Tony Kalka of Kalka & Baer is representing Mr. Borchardt and took the case to mediation on Monday, January 31, 2011. However, the settlement offer the insurance company presented did not even cover Mr. Borchardt's medical expenses.
Kalka told the Atlanta Journal Constitution that "it will be up to the citizens of DeKalb County to decide and render a verdict against Odom and Progressive Mountain." A trial date has not been scheduled at this point, but one thing is for certain – a DeKalb County jury will decide the recovery the injured carriage driver will receive in this case.
If there are any other witnesses to this crash, please call Kalka & Baer at (404) 907-1594 at your earliest convenience.