Deadly Pedestrian Crash in Eastern Louisiana

A 22-year-old woman faces negligent homicide charges after a fatal pedestrian-auto crash in West Feliciana Parish.

Sherriff’s deputies state that Tiffany Cage was on Solitude Road near the Heir Road intersection when she hit 59-year-old James White, who was walking near the Solitude Road shoulder. He was pronounced dead at the scene; Ms. Cage was not injured. No other details were available.

Mr. White represented District 3 on the West Feliciana Parish School Board.

Pedestrian-Auto Crash Injuries

According to the Centers for Disease Control, one pedestrian is killed every two hours in these incidents. That adds up to almost 5,000 deaths per year. Additionally, about 150,000 other pedestrians are seriously injured. The main reason for the high serious injury/fatality rate is that pedestrians are completely unprotected in these incidents, whereas vehicle occupants are inside steel cocoons and held in place by multiple restraint systems. Some of the more common injuries include:

  • Internal Injuries: Emergency physicians and first responders often focus on external trauma injuries, at least in the early moments, so dangerous internal bleeding may go unchecked for precious minutes or even hours.
  • Brain Injuries: The impact that jars internal organs also causes the victim’s brain to slam against the skull, a situation that often causes permanent injuries in pedestrian-auto crashes.
  • Broken Bones: These injuries nearly always require aggressive surgical intervention that involves metal pins or screws, in addition to lengthy physical rehabilitation.

Speed is another contributing factor to serious injuries in pedestrian-auto crashes. Impacts at under 30mph are nearly always survivable, while impacts at over 40mph are nearly always fatal or near-fatal. So, it is little wonder that most of the severe cases occur on non-elevated highways and away from intersections or crosswalks.

Pedestrian-Auto Crash Causes

Most drivers have a duty of reasonable care, which essentially means that they must do their best to avoid car wrecks. Sadly, a large number of Louisiana drivers are not at their best before they get behind the wheel, so they have already breached the duty of reasonable care before they even turn the key. The Global Road Safety Partnership recognizes three kinds of impaired driving:

  • Alcohol: Most drivers are dangerously impaired after only one drink, and each successive drink has a multiplying effect.
  • Drugs: More drivers are impaired by legal drugs, like prescription painkillers and over-the-counter sleep aids, than by illegal drugs, like cocaine or heroin.
  • Fatigue: Driving after 18 consecutive awake hours is the equivalent of driving with a .08 BAC, which is legally intoxicated in Louisiana.

Victims in pedestrian-auto crashes are normally entitled to compensation for both their economic damages, such as lost wages, and noneconomic damages, such as loss of enjoyment in life. Punitive damages may be available as well, in some cases.

For prompt assistance with a negligence claim, contact an experienced personal injury lawyer in Lake Charles from Hoffoss Devall. Our attorneys are licensed in Texas and Louisiana.