Louisiana State Police reported that a man who allegedly hit a car carrying high school students, killing one, has been charged with multiple criminal offenses including drunk driving. According to officers, the collision occurred on Dec. 9 around 7:30 a.m. on Highway 74 approximately one mile away from the high school.
Officers reported that the 19-year-old Reserve man was driving east on the highway when he came upon some backed up traffic. Police believe he traveled into the westbound lane in order to avoid hitting the cars stopped in front of him. When he did so, he allegedly struck the car carrying the girl and her two sisters in the westbound lane.
The 15-year-old girl who died was apparently riding in the car's back seat; officers reported she was not wearing a safety belt. Her two sisters were wearing seat belts, and they were transported to the hospital for treatment of moderate injuries they suffered. Officers believe the man was under the influence of drugs at the time of the wreck. He was charged with vehicular homicide, DWI, reckless operation and two counts of negligent vehicular injury. Officers took samples of his blood and are awaiting the results of toxicology tests.
Numerous people die in car accidents due to the reckless and wrongful actions of impaired drivers. The families who lose loved ones in this way are left to deal with the grief of losing their family member. Compounding the loss, families often face overwhelming financial losses as well. Families may be able to pursue damages from the at-fault driver by filing a wrongful death lawsuit against him or her. Such a lawsuit is filed separately from any simultaneous criminal case proceeding against him or her.
Source: WAFB, "Driver charged with DWI, vehicular homicide after crash kills Dutchtown High student", December 09, 2014