Jurors will decide whether the roadside death of a Jackson, Ga., man in 2009 was the result of drunken driving or a confusing construction zone.
Bill Danes, 45, was hit by a pickup that June 11 as he waited to deliver asphalt from his dump truck during a repaving project between Savannah and Brown roads on Mike Padgett Highway.
Behind the pickup’s steering wheel was Charles Oglesby, of Waynesboro, Ga., who had left a bar on Georgia Highway 56 and was traveling the wrong direction through the construction zone, Assistant District Attorney Natalie Paine said in opening statements Monday.
Oglesby was arrested and eventually charged with first-degree homicide by vehicle, driving under the influence and driving on the wrong side of the road.
Paine said the evidence presented at trial would show that Oglesby was familiar with the construction zone and had hit a tree in a previous DUI arrest.
Oglesby’s attorney, Jacques Hawk, showed Monday that his defense will be built around the layout of the construction zone.
Specifically, he said, the orange traffic barrels were impeding traffic, lighting was poor and Danes was not wearing a reflective vest.
An expert witness will discuss the poor visibility and the “veiling effect” of driving toward the headlights of the dump trucks.
“Under these conditions, anyone would have hit him,” Hawk said.