Deuces Wild: Two Dead In Two Crashes In Two Hours

Authorities are investigating two separate fatal vehicle collisions in Acadiana. Although they occurred at two different locations, they shared some common elements.

The first one occurred in St. Martin Parish near Breaux Bridge, close to the intersection of Juleau Champagne Road and Anse Broussard Highway. The driver of a 2011 Camry, whose name was not released, apparently lost control of his vehicle and left the road. The driver was rushed to a nearby hospital due to serious injuries; a passenger in the car — 40-year-old Christopher Richard, of St. Martinville — was declared dead at the scene. Louisiana State Police officers said that neither individual was wearing a seatbelt. 

Roughly two hours later,  on U.S. Highway 167 at State Highway 182 in St. Landry Parish, 34-year-old Al Fournier, of Lawtell, rear-ended a Dodge Durango. The force of the impact propelled the Durango off the road and into a light pole. Mr. Fournier was declared dead at the scene, and the Durango driver, whose name was not released, was transported to a nearby hospital.

Although both vehicle collisions remain under investigation, authorities do not expect to file charges in either incident.

Car Crash Injuries

Each year, vehicle collisions seriously hurt over 2.35 million people in the United States alone; a large proportion of these victims are children under 16. Moreover, experts predict that by 2030, car crash injuries will be the nation’s fifth leading cause of death. Many of these vehicle collisions are caused by:

  • Speed: Excessive velocity multiplies the force in collisions and also significantly increases stopping distance (reaction time plus braking time).
  • Impairment: Whether drivers are impaired by alcohol, drugs, fatigue, or a combination of two or more of these things, the effects are largely the same.
  • Distraction: Anything that causes drivers to take their minds off the road, take their eyes off the road, or take at least one hand off the wheel is, by definition, distracted driving. Cellphone use is perhaps the most dangerous distracted driving habit.

Regardless of what caused the vehicle collision, victims are entitled to compensation, including both economic damages, such as lost wages, and noneconomic damages, such as loss of enjoyment in life. Punitive damages are also available, if the tortfeasor (negligent driver) displayed a high degree of carelessness.

Legal Issues

Some victims believe that, since the Bayou State has a mandatory seatbelt law, that they are not entitled to fair compensation for their injuries. However, seatbelt non-use is inadmissible as a matter of law in Louisiana vehicle collision cases. Therefore, all victims in the above stories are entitled to 100 percent of their damages, even though they may not have been properly restrained.

Vehicle collision victims are often entitled to significant compensation. For a free consultation, contact Lee Hoffoss or T-Claude Devall, the experienced Lake Charles personal injury attorneys from Hoffoss Devall. We routinely handle cases in both Texas and Louisiana.