Fatal Wreck Raises Liability Questions

One young girl is dead, and another one is seriously injured, following a serious truck crash in Assumption Parish that may have been speed-related.

According to the Louisiana State Police, 38-year-old Frannie Landry, of Belle Rose, was hauling trash cans to State Highway 1000 for retrieval; the two girls were riding on the tailgate of her pickup truck. A few minutes after Ms. Landry parked in the westbound lane facing east, 21-year-old Corey Crochet approached the scene in a separate pickup truck. He reacted late and swerved quickly to avoid a head-on collision with the parked vehicle, but he evidently sideswiped it. 15-year-old Sydny Landry and her 12-year-old sister were both thrown from the bed; Sydney Landry was declared dead at the scene and her sister was rushed to a nearby hospital clinging to life.

Investigators have ruled out impairment as a possible cause and they are still looking into the truck crash.

Speed and Breach of Duty

As discussed in a previous post, excessive speed multiplies the force in a track crash. But, there is more. Speed increases both components of braking distance, which includes both reaction distance and stopping distance. The scientific equation, Vf2=Vo2+2ad, is far too complicated for a country lawyer to understand. However, the concept behind braking distance, and its applicability to truck crashes, is easy for me and jurors to comprehend.

The faster an object travels, the longer it takes to slow or stop safely. At the same time, as speed increases, reaction distance increases as well. That is the amount of ground that the vehicle covers in the half-second or so it takes a driver to see a hazard, mentally react to the hazard, and move his or her foot from the accelerator to the brake pedal. At 50mph, reaction distance is about three car lengths and stopping distance is about ten car lengths. At 70mph, these distances increase to four and twenty car lengths.

So, speeding truck drivers are unable to avoid crashes. Alternatively, as illustrated by the above story, they are only able to partially avoid these collisions. Either way, damages in these cases typically involve compensation for both economic damages, like lost wages, and noneconomic damages, like loss of enjoyment in life. Additional punitive damages are also available, in some truck crash cases.

Just a little extra speed transforms normally careful drivers into negligent drivers. For a free consultation with an assertive personal injury lawyer in Lake Charles, contact Hoffoss Devall. Home and hospital visits are available.