Lake Charles residents may remember hearing a news story coming out of New Orleans of a 40-car pile-up last month. Now, one of the car accident victims is suing the owner of the marshland that has been burning for months, the city of New Orleans and the state of Louisiana. The man has alleged that the smoke from the marshland fire reduced visibility on the highway, which led to the 40-vehicle crash and his injuries. When the smoke is mixed with heavy fog, it is even harder to see.
The lawsuit accuses the owner of the burning marshland for letting the fire burn and failing to bring the fire under control. The city, state and property owner should have been aware of the problems the smoke causes, as the burning marsh has already been the subject of previous lawsuits. Others have filed suit because the smoke was apparently causing hazardous conditions, including making people sick, in addition to obstructing view of the traffic.
The lawsuit states that the fatal accident could have been avoided if state and local officials warned drivers about the low visibility on the highway that day. It also alleges that there was improper lighting. The man claims that the city did not provide traffic control and did not put the fire out, as it should have.
In the accident, the man broke his foot when he crashed into the back of a truck that he was unable to see. His pickup truck was caught in the middle of the massive accident. The moment the man saw the fog he slowed down, but he couldn’t avoid hitting the truck in front of him.
Source: WWLTV Eyewitness News, “Lawsuits filed in 40-vehicle fatal accident,” Paul Murphy, Jan. 17, 2012