Devastating accidents can happen in mere fractions of a second. That certainly seemed to be the case when a truck and a pickup collided in Lafayette Parish in Louisiana on Jan. 24, 2019, setting off a chain reaction that claimed two lives.
According to preliminary reports about the investigation, a semitruck driven by a 67-year-old native of Texas was traveling eastbound on 1-10. Construction caused the traffic in that area to slow, but the semi's driver seemed unable to reduce his speed quickly enough to avoid ramming into the rear of a Dodge Ram.
Before the crash was over, five vehicles were involved, including a Ford Escape and two more 18-wheelers. The force of the initial accident basically drove each vehicle in the line into the one in front. The 24-year-old driver of the Ford Escape, a resident of Arnaudville, Louisiana, was killed -- along with the 45-year-old driver of the Dodge Ram, another native of Texas. Both died on the scene.
Reportedly, the driver of the semitruck that started the chain reaction submitted to roadside testing that indicated he was sober at the time of the accident. The investigation into the other driver's blood alcohol content (BAC) levels is still pending.
The authorities have yet to say if they will press charges against any of the drivers, but the state troopers have issued a general reminder to motorists that impaired driving, fatigued driving, distracted driving and driving at an excessive speed are all actions that can end up being lethal. The authorities also reminded drivers that simple safety measures -- like wearing seat belts and obeying traffic regulations -- can keep you alive on the road. From those reminders, it may be fair to infer the idea that police think speeding, crowding or "tailgating," fatigue and distractions may have contributed to the tragedy.
Unfortunately, no matter what you do to be a good driver when you're on the road, you can't control what other drivers do -- or don't do. Multivehicle accidents are complicated because the insurance companies involved seldom want to take responsibility for a victim's losses. You may need experienced assistance to obtain fair compensation for your injuries.