Wrongful death claim alleges police let impaired driver go twice

On April 20, 2014, a man left a Louisiana casino at approximately 7:38 a.m. Supposedly, the man was under the influence of several drugs, including methadone, cocaine and amphetamines, at the time and was involved in three accidents -- one of them fatal. The wrongful death claim filed by the deceased victim's family against the city where the accidents occurred alleges that local police let the man go because he had some sort of relationship with the department.

Shortly after leaving the casino, the man is said to have run his vehicle into a ditch. After that incident, court documents indicate that a 911 call alerted police that a vehicle was being driven erratically and needed to be stopped. The vehicle was not stopped, however, and the family contends it was the same vehicle that subsequently slammed into the back of another vehicle at a stop light.

Reportedly, Alexandria police failed to perform field sobriety tests or to assess whether the man was impaired in any way following the rear-end collision. The man was allegedly allowed to leave the second scene. He then drove away, and, at some point, he collided head on with yet another vehicle. The family's loved one suffered fatal injuries in the third crash.

It is now up to a Louisiana court to determine whether the city should be held liable for the failure of the Alexandria Police Department to get the impaired driver off the road as alleged in the family's wrongful death claim. If the actions of officers are determined to have been negligent, the court may award the family damages. Any monetary damages awarded to the victim's family members may be second to their desire to attain some justice for the death of their loved one.

Source: louisianarecord.com, "City of Alexandria sued after allegedly intoxicated man let go by police causes three accidents, kills man", Kyle Barnett, March 2, 2015

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