A 28-year-old man from Florida has been charged with vehicular homicide and reckless driving after his vehicle crashed into a GMC SUV in New Orleans on I-10 near the Lafitte Street intersection. One of the SUV’s passengers, a 17-year old girl, died at the scene of the motor vehicle accident.
The car accident occurred around 11:20 p.m. and according to police reports, the defendant was speeding and under the influence of alcohol when he hit the SUV. That impact caused the 18-year-old driver of the SUV to lose control. Investigators said the SUV hit a concrete guardrail and flipped multiple times.
The 17-year-old that was killed was thrown from the vehicle. The driver of the SUV and another 17-year-old passenger were transported to the hospital for what police termed as non-life-threatening injuries. The defendant was not injured.
The defendant was, however, arrested at the scene after officers allegedly detected the odor of alcohol on his breath. He was given a breath analyzer test at the police state, which showed his blood alcohol level to be .117. That is more than twice the legal limit.
According to multiple media reports, this is not the first time the defendant has been arrested for drunk driving. He was reportedly arrested in 2008 for DUI and driving on a suspended driver’s license. In addition, he also reportedly has several charges for drug offenses. All of the previous charges are out of Florida.
Should the defendant be found guilty of reckless driving and vehicular homicide, he faces between five and 30 years in jail and a fine of up to $15,000. However, even if he is not convicted of any crime, the family of the 17-year-old that died in the crash could seek financial compensation in civil court for wrongful death, funeral expenses, and other claims. The other two who were injured could also seek compensation through a civil action for claims related to their injuries. An experienced Louisiana personal injury attorney can provide advice about pursuing such claims.
nola.com, “Florida man booked in fatal car accident was under the influence at time of crash, records show” Helen Freund, Jul. 18, 2013