Around 10:30 p.m. on Sept. 7 of last year, a woman was traveling on Interstate 610. She was on her way to work as a police dispatcher in the Big Easy. The Louisiana woman would never make it there. Instead, she became the victim of a fatal car accident.
Authorities say a 28-year-old man with a blood alcohol level of .25 managed to get behind the wheel of his Jeep and head toward the Interstate. His blood alcohol level was over three times the Louisiana legal limit. When he got onto the Interstate, he was traveling the wrong-way and slammed head-on into the woman’s vehicle. Emergency personnel rushed the woman to an area hospital with internal injuries and broken bones.
Hospital personnel did what they could for the woman, but it became clear she would not survive. The next day, the New Orleans Police Department (NOPD) dispatcher was placed on life support. The 32-year NOPD veteran was an organ donor, so she was kept alive long enough for medical personnel to harvest her organs.
On March 21, the drunk driver pleaded guilty to homicide by vehicle. The judge sentenced him to a prison term of 7.5 years. Separately, the victim’s family may exercise its right to file a wrongful death claim against the driver, offering proof of his plea and sentence as evidence of his negligence. If a civil court is satisfied that the drunk driver was negligent, it may award the family damages in connection to the loss of the 51-year-old victim in this tragic fatal car accident.