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Days after car accident, state Senator's mother dies

Louisiana state Senator Dan Claitor received a phone call that no one ever wants to get. His mother and father were involved in a car accident, and his 80-year-old mother ended up in the hospital with critical injuries. His 88-year-old father was sitting in the front passenger seat and escaped serious injury.

The crash took place on Oct. 18, and the Senator's mother held on for several days before succumbing to her injuries on Oct. 22. She and her husband were traveling on U.S. 61. Near the border between East Baton Rouge Parish and Ascension Parish, the woman maneuvered from the right lane to the left lane of travel. She then slowed significantly in order to make a U-turn.

A Dodge Ram pickup truck traveling behind the Ford Explorer failed to slow and slammed into the back of the SUV. The Explorer ended up coming to a rest in the middle of the road, and the pickup ended up on the southbound side of the road in a ditch. The Louisiana State Police does not believe that either driver was impaired at the time of the accident, and everyone was properly restrained.

Reports do not indicate why the pickup truck driver failed to either slow or stop as the Senator's mother attempted her turn. It is not known whether officials intend to file any charges against the driver in connection with this car accident. The woman's husband, however, retains the right to file a wrongful death claim seeking damages from the pickup truck driver. If negligence is properly documented, the court may award damages to him. However, any award could be reduced by a court-determined percentage under the doctrine of comparative negligence if the court also finds that the woman was partially negligent in the manner in which the U-turn was made.

Source: nola.com, "Mother of state Sen. Dan Claitor dies from vehicle accident injuries", Emily Lane, Oct. 23, 2014

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