It seems that some Louisiana drivers become complacent and neglect to follow some of the basic rules of driving. Paying attention to the road and the driver's surroundings is essential in avoiding a car accident that could result in serious injury or death. This includes keeping an eye out for others that may share the streets, including pedestrians and cyclists, who have just as much right to be on the roads as anyone else.
Recently, while two men were riding their bicycles on Chef Menteur Highway around 11 a.m., a speeding car seemingly refused to move into a clear lane to give the riders the three feet of safety clearance that Louisiana law requires. Instead of going around the riders, the driver plowed them down. The victims were a 36-year-old firefighter and his brother-in-law who were out training for the upcoming Ochsner Ironman triathlon when the accident occurred.
Unfortunately, the crash killed the nine-year firefighting veteran. The second victim survived the accident, but suffered a fractured spinal cord and at last report was still at a nearby hospital. The 34-year-old driver has since been charged with negligent homicide and a myriad of other traffic related violations. The driver was incarcerated at the Orleans Parish prison.
Although the family of the deceased victim may have accepted their loved one's dangerous line of work, they may never have anticipated he would lose his life riding a bicycle. However, they may find comfort in knowing that he died doing what he loved to do in his spare time. As for the driver of the vehicle, the victim's family may consider exercising their right under Louisiana law to file a claim for wrongful death against him. Additionally, the injured cyclist may file a personal injury claim against the driver. Successfully litigated claims could result in awards for damages and hopefully make the financial burdens caused by this horrific car accident easier to bear.
Source: nola.com, "Ironman cyclist to be buried Saturday in Louisiana, injured brother-in-law still critical", Ken Daley, April 18, 2014