Ordinarily, most people in Louisiana are not on the lookout for drunk drivers until after the sun goes down and well into the night. That is when many people believe that others are drinking and will be attempting to drive. Few people expect to encounter a drunk driver at 3 p.m. in the afternoon; however, that was the time a fatal pedestrian accident recently occurred in New Orleans.
Police were called to the scene of a hit-and-run accident involving a woman who was crossing the intersection of Canal Street and N Gayoso Street. She was still alive when emergency personnel rushed her to an area hospital. Unfortunately, the efforts of medical personnel were in vain, and the 50-year-old woman succumbed to the injuries she suffered in the accident sometime later.
Officers with the New Orleans Police Department tracked the vehicle believed to be involved in the accident to the parking lot of a mall several blocks away. A 38-year-old man suspected of driving the car was tested to determine whether he was impaired. His blood alcohol level was determined to be .172, which is well above the legal limit of .08 here in Louisiana.
He was booked into jail on suspicion of vehicular homicide. The victim’s family may also file a wrongful death claim against the man. Any conviction secured by prosecutors could be used as evidence of negligence in the civil claim. If he is found to be at fault in the woman’s death by the court, the family could be awarded damages consistent with those ordered in other fatal pedestrian accident cases.