It should be no surprise to most Louisiana residents that the sheer number of deaths caused by drunk drivers has risen dramatically in recent years. The inherent dangers are well publicized, and yet there is no shortage of news stories regarding the unfortunate deaths left in their wake. Recently, an alleged drunk driver killed one woman and injured two others on Christmas night in a tragic car accident.
According to authorities, the alleged drunk driver of a pickup truck was driving on Louisiana Highway 35 north of Rayne, when he swerved across the center median and into oncoming traffic. The pickup slammed into an Oldsmobile head-on shortly before 10 p.m. The victim was a 35-year-old woman from Church Point who died on impact. She had been the driver of the car that was also occupied by two passengers.
The injured passengers suffered non-life-threatening injuries and were transported to a local hospital. One was reported to have severe injuries while the other suffered only minor injuries. The driver of the pickup truck suffered only minor injuries. Louisiana State Police report that the 48-year-old man has been charged with his fourth driving under the influence offense. Because this was his fourth, an enhanced DWI charge was filed as well as other charges, including vehicular homicide, disabling an ignition interlock device and two charges in connection with the injuring of the passengers.
If state prosecutors can prove that the driver of the pickup truck is guilty of the charges brought against him, the family of the deceased woman may use any conviction to prove the driver's negligence in a wrongful death claim. Any monetary restitution awarded by the Louisiana court may help provide the family of the deceased woman with some financial support to help cover the monetary burdens associated with the loss of a loved one. The passengers may file personal injury claims using the evidence of the driver's negligence for damages, including any immediate and possible future medical costs related to this car accident.
Source: nola.com, Acadia Parish man charged with 4th DWI after accident on Christmas kills one, Emily Lane, Dec. 26, 2013