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Two boys die after car rear-ended by tractor-trailer truck in Athens

10-year-old killed

Athens Police

Two 10-year-old boys died on June 3 after the car they were traveling in was rear-ended by a tractor-trailer truck in Athens.

Killed in the rear-end accident were Evan Escoe, of Hull, who died instantly in the wreck along U.S Highway 441. The other boy, Samuel Hart, of Comer, died a day later at an Atlanta Hospital, according to the Athens Banner-Herald. The boys sustained head trauma, according to news reports.

Samuel's mother, Elisha Hart, was driving the children, who were in the back seat, to a lake at Sandy Creek Park. Hart and her 8-year-old son Carter, who was in the front seat, sustained non-threatening injuries, authorities told the Banner-Herald.

The fatal car accident occurred as Hart slowed down for a car in front of her that was turning into a business. The truck hit her from behind, police told the Banner-Herald. The trucker, a 57-year-old man from North Carolina, was not injured, according to the news report.

The rear-end collision is under investigation. Police say drugs and alcohol did not play a role in the crash, according to the Banner-Herald.

Rear-end accidents are among the most common types of crashes. Athens personal injury lawyer Gary Martin Hays, of Gary Martin Hays & Associates, P.C., said rear-end accidents involving tractor-trailers can be devastating due to the size of the trucks compared to the passenger vehicle.

"As this case illustrates, a rear-end collision involving a tractor-trailer can have deadly consequences," Hays said. "While it's not clear what caused this accident, driver distraction is one of the top causes of rear-end accidents. Accidents happen fast. Drivers need to stay focused on the task at hand. My thoughts and prayers go out to the family of the boys who lost their lives in this tragic accident."