Sudden death of 14-year-old caused by teen driving illegally?

One of the hallmarks of turning 15 is the ability to get a learner's permit for driving. In Louisiana, new drivers who only have such a permit must follow certain rules in order to be on the roads. A 15-year-old driver was apparently on the road in violation of those rules at the time of his 14-year-old passenger's sudden death.

The two were in a vehicle driven by the older teen at approximately 11:51 p.m. on a recent Friday night. Somehow, the driver lost control of the vehicle on a curve, and the vehicle careened off the left side of the roadway. The driver attempted to get back on the road, but most likely due to his inexperience, he over-corrected. This caused the vehicle to leave the road again -- this time on the right side -- and hit a tree.

Neither teen was properly restrained at the time of the crash. Due to the extent of the damage to the vehicle, emergency responders had to free both of them from the wreckage. The driver suffered serious injuries and was taken to an area hospital. His current condition is not known. The passenger did not survive the accident and died at the scene.

Louisiana officials report that there was no legally licensed driver in the vehicle at the time. Further, teens with a learner's permit are not permitted to drive between the hours of 11 p.m. and 5 a.m. Why these two boys were in a car at night without a licensed driver will undoubtedly be questions that investigators will attempt to answer. Moreover, these facts alone may be enough to establish negligence in a wrongful death claim against the party or parties believed responsible for the sudden death of the younger teen.

Source:, "Quitman teen killed in single vehicle wreck", Barbara Leader, Nov. 22, 2014

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