Fatal Louisiana accident may have involved impaired driving

A Louisiana man was arrested in connection with an April 5 car accident that resulted in the death of one woman. Police believed that the man was impaired at the time of the crash and booked him into Tangipahoa Parish Jail on one charge of vehicular homicide and other offenses related to the accident.

A two-car accident involving a Honda sedan and a Volkswagen had occurred shortly before 4 a.m. in the northbound lanes of Interstate 55 near Ponchatoula. Both drivers parked on the left shoulder, but their vehicles remained partially in the left lane of the roadway. Reports indicated that the area where the drivers parked was on an elevated stretch of the highway. The drivers had exited their vehicles to talk about the collision when a northbound 2003 Toyota truck struck the Honda and its driver, a 27-year-old New Orleans woman.

Louisiana State Police said that investigators had ordered toxicology tests on the Toyota's driver, a 43-year-old Kenner man. Reports did not indicate whether the 43-year-old man or the Volkswagen's driver suffered injuries in the crash.

People who drive while they are impaired by drugs or alcohol frequently face serious charges if they have caused fatal car accidents. Though the penalties for vehicular homicide are severe, families of the deceased victims do not receive compensation for their loved ones' deaths as a result of criminal court cases, even when drugged drivers are convicted. While most families are relieved to see the drivers go to prison for their negligence, they often struggle for years to deal with debts such as burial expenses or medical bills. Families who file wrongful death suits against impaired drivers sometimes receive settlements or judgments that might provide relief from economic damages resulting from their loved ones' deaths.

Source: NOLA.com, 'I-55 accident victim identified as New Orleans woman," Robert Rhoden, April 7, 2015

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