Drug-Related Deadly Crash In Lake Charles

The impaired driver who caused a fatal car crash in Lake Charles may have been under the influence of a drug cocktail, according to authorities.

The Calcasieu Parish Sheriff’s Office states that 31-year-old Derrick Leone, of Sulphur, crossed the center line on North Perkins Ferry Road and smacked head-on into a 2011 Jeep. The driver – 71-year-old Valery Jordan, of Ragley – was airlifted to a local hospital with serious injuries; she was pronounced dead on arrival. As deputies questioned Mr. Leone, they claimed he showed signs of impairment. A subsequent vehicle search turned up a bag of methamphetamines, three Xanax bars, and twenty-one Hydrocodone pills.

He was booked into jail on various impaired driving-related charges, including vehicular manslaughter, DWI, and possession of a controlled substance.

Impaired Driving

Drugged driving is one of the three kinds of impairment, according to the Global Road Safety Partnership. They are:

  • Alcohol: Studies consistently show that most drivers are dangerously impaired after only one drink.
  • Drugs: As may have been the case in the above story, drug-induced impairment can come from illegal street drugs or the unauthorized use of prescription drugs.
  • Fatigue: Driving after eighteen consecutive awake hours is like driving with a .08 BAC, which is above the legal limit in Louisiana.

Although impairment comes from diverse sources, all three types of impaired driving have similar effects. Mental symptoms typically come first, as many tortfeasors (negligent drivers) who are sleep-deprived or have recently consumed intoxicating substances have difficulty concentrating and may also be less able to make sound judgments. Sensory impairment comes next, mainly because of bloodshot eyes that make it difficult to see, especially at night. After a few extra drinks, pills, or minutes, impaired tortfeasors suffer from physical impairment. Their reactions become dangerously slow and they typically also are hard-pressed to remain awake and conscious.

Any level of impairment, no matter how slight, is generally a breach of the duty of reasonable care. In these situations, victims are entitled to compensation for their economic damages, like lost wages, as well as their noneconomic damages, like loss of consortium (companionship). Punitive damages are also available, in many cases.

Impaired driving crashes cause serious injuries. For a free consultation with an experienced Lake Charles personal injury attorney, contact Hoffoss Devall. We routinely handle matters in both Louisiana and Texas.