Where the evidence showed the plaintiff to be completely free of negligence and the defendant's testimony revealed no legal reason or excuse for his failure to stop the vehicle he was driving prior to colliding with the rear of the plaintiff's automobile, the trial judge did not err in directing a verdict for the plaintiff on the question of liability.
The plaintiff filed suit for damages resulting from a collision on Interstate Highway 75, within the city limits of Atlanta. The petition alleged in part that the defendant heard negligently drove a truck into the rear of the automobile which the plaintiff was driving. Upon the trial of the case the trial judge directed a verdict for the plaintiff on the question of liability. After verdict and judgment the defendants filed a notice of appeal and the case is here for review.
There was no evidence that the plaintiff made a sudden stop. The plaintiff's testimony was that: he did not slam on his brakes and skid to a stop; he had "learned to stay back and allow for such stops"; "as I was coming up the incline, I saw a collision up ahead of me, and--I saw one car hit another, and--then I saw the car that was directly in front of me, which was a Volkswagen, I saw that that lady was not going to be able to stop, so I applied my brakes, and I stopped behind her car; I really don't know how many feet back, but I was--quite a few feet back of her car, had not touched her car; and then--just after I had stopped, just a few seconds after I had stopped, I noticed headlights in my mirror, and they were (indicating) becoming brighter and brighter, and closer, I could tell that; and all of a sudden it hit me; air. Heard, in the Sutherland Egg truck, hit me, and--the next thing I knew, I had crossed the right hand lane of traffic--there was no car in that lane at the time--and it knocked me across that lane, over to the side, under the bridge, which was approximately--forty feet, I would say."
As in Pike v. Stafford, 111 Ga. App. 349 (141 SE2d 780)
, the evidence in the present case shows that while the plaintiff was not negligent the defendant's testimony revealed no legal reason or excuse for his failure to stop the truck he was driving prior to colliding with the rear of the plaintiff's automobile.
Nothing held herein is in conflict with Malcom v. Malcolm, 112 Ga. App. 151 (144 SE2d 188)
, where there was evidence that the plaintiff made a sudden stop.
The trial judge did not err in directing a verdict on the question of liability.