A double-yellow line serves as the only division of numerous highways that crisscross the country. This puts those who travel these highways at risk of being involved in a fatal accident if a driver crosses that line into the oncoming lanes of traffic. One such highway that runs north and south through Louisiana is designated as U.S. Highway 71.
Recently, a northbound vehicle on the highway veered across the double-yellow line directly into the path of a southbound vehicle. The northbound car slammed into the other vehicle at approximately 5 p.m. The drivers of both vehicles suffered fatal injuries, along with a passenger in the vehicle that had crossed the line.
The other three occupants of that vehicle suffered injuries ranging in severity from minor to serious. The passenger in the other vehicle suffered injuries described as moderate. All of the injured passengers from both vehicles were taken for medical treatment. Their current conditions had not been reported.
In Louisiana, it is routine to take toxicology samples in all accidents involving a fatality, to determine whether a driver was impaired by either drugs or alcohol at the time of the crash. The results of the samples taken in this crash are pending. This information is needed regardless of the fact that both drivers lost their lives, and thus, no criminal charges will be filed.
However, the results could have an impact on any civil actions filed as a result of this fatal accident. Establishing negligence is integral to a successful claim, and if the driver considered to be at fault in the crash was impaired, that information could be used to bolster a claim of negligence. Once the court is satisfied, it may consider an award of damages typically seen in car accidents.