Many of the more serious criminal charges filed in Louisiana are often the result of a grand jury indictment. The grand jury decides whether prosecutors have adequate evidence to indicate that a crime occurred and that a specific individual or individuals may have been involved. For example, a 34-year-old woman was recently indicted by a grand jury for vehicular homicide in connection with a fatal car accident that happened in the early morning hours of Nov. 11, 2014.
At approximately 3 a.m. on the morning of the accident, the woman was on Louisiana 23, heading northbound. She lost control of the vehicle, which then left the roadway. When she attempted to get back to the road, she over corrected. This caused the vehicle to flip.
No report was given regarding whether the driver suffered any injuries that night, but she was not alone in the car. When emergency personnel responded to the crash, they discovered that her passenger, a 41-year-old woman, suffered fatal injuries. Authorities suspected that the driver was impaired, and a toxicology test revealed that her blood alcohol level was above Louisiana’s legal limit. This was part of the information provided to the grand jury.
As the woman faces the vehicular homicide charge, she may also face a wrongful death civil lawsuit in connection with this fatal car accident. The surviving family of the deceased passenger retain to right to file such a claim, seeking damages incurred due to the death of their loved one. Documenting to the court that the driver’s negligent actions caused the death of the victim could lead to a monetary judgment for specified financial losses.