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Speed, impairment suspected factors in fatal Louisiana car crash

A 26-year-old man was killed in a two-car accident in Tangipahoa Parish, Louisiana, early Sunday, June 23. The accident occurred just after midnight near Kentwood, on US 51. According to Louisiana State Police, the two vehicles were traveling next to each other at a high rate of speed when the car crash happened.

The man who died was driving a 2006 Dodge Stratus. He was from Meadville, Mississippi, and according to police, was not wearing his safety belt. The other driver, a 21-year-old man from Greensburg, Louisiana, and his passenger, a 21-year-old female from Kentwood, Louisiana, were in a 2000 Pontiac Grand Am.

The Stratus clipped the left rear of the Grand Am, causing the driver to lose control. The car careened off the roadway and hit several trees. The driver was ejected from the vehicle. He was taken to Hood Memorial Hospital where he was pronounced dead. The Grand Am was able to stop on the shoulder of the road and only had minor damage. Both of the occupants were wearing their seat belts and were not injured, according to police reports. However, the state police believe both drivers were impaired when the car accident happened.

The driver of the Grand Am failed a blood alcohol test, according to a spokesperson for the state police. He was arrested and charged with reckless operation of a vehicle and vehicular homicide. There is no word on his bond or an upcoming court date.

Even if the driver is not convicted of his criminal charges, he could face a civil lawsuit from the other driver’s family. An attorney could file a wrongful death claim, which would allow the family to possibly receive financial compensation for the loss of their loved one, as well as for funeral and medical expenses, loss of consort and other damages. An attorney would be able to advise the family on their options during this difficult time.

nola.com, “Impairment and speed suspected factors in Tangipahoa fatal crash” Danielle Bell, Jun. 23, 2013

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