As many people may already realize, a distracted driver is a dangerous driver. This realization was highlighted in a recent case of suspected driver inattentiveness that caused a fatal car wreck in Louisiana.
A man was driving a delivery truck east on the interstate highway 12 when he let his truck drift onto the right shoulder. There happened to be a disabled vehicle, with its emergency lights flashing, on the same stretch of highway on the right shoulder. The delivery truck hit the rear bumper of the disabled vehicle, spinning the car across the interstate and onto the median. The truck driver proceeded to run off the shoulder, he then overcorrected and traveled across the highway, eventually running off the road again.
In total, four people were in the car stranded on the roadside. The driver of the car and a 2-year-old passenger were reported to have moderate injuries. They were both taken to St. Tammany Parish Hospital. Another passenger, a 48-year-old woman was listed in serious condition and transported to a nearby hospital. One other passenger, a 1-year-old baby, was killed in the crash.
At the scene, the truck driver refused medical attention and took an alcohol breath test, which he passed. He was taken to the Tangipahoa Parish Jail and charged with one count of negligent homicide, three counts of negligent injuring and one count of careless operation of a motor vehicle. Reportedly, driver inattention is the suspected cause of the tragedy.
In cases like this, if a truck driver is ultimately found responsible for an accident, the victims may be entitled to compensation for medical costs, lost wages and other expenses related to the accident.
The crash in Louisiana is an example of a tragic result that can come from driver inattention and distraction. Although the authorities are continuing to investigate the cause of the accident, it serves as a worthwhile reminder that drivers must stay focused on the task at hand, driving safely, at all times.
Source: The Avoyelles Journal, "'Inattentive truck' driver hits disabled vehicle on interstate shoulder, infant killed," Sept. 19, 2012