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Traffic control devices are there to prevent auto accidents

Most drivers here in Louisiana and elsewhere know that a fundamental rule of driving is to obey traffic control devices such as stoplights and stop signs. These devices are designed to prevent auto accidents by controlling the flow of traffic at intersections. When a driver fails to adhere to this basic rule, the results can be disastrous.

For example, a car driven by a 35-year-old man was on Louisiana 438 headed west on a recent Wednesday morning. At the same time, a pickup truck was headed south on Louisiana 25. As the two vehicles approached the intersection of the two roadways, the westbound car was required to stop, but did not. 

When the car slammed into the driver's side of the southbound vehicle, it shoved the pickup truck off the right side of Louisiana 25. Before coming to a rest, the pickup crashed into a culvert. During the impact, the 81-year-old man driving it was thrown out of the vehicle. He succumbed to fatal injuries at the scene.

The driver of the westbound vehicle escaped injury and passed a breath test at the scene. However, he was taken into custody on charges of failing to obey a stop sign, negligent homicide and driving on an expired license. The outcome of those charges could depend on the results of the ongoing investigation.

In the meantime, the family of the deceased driver may exercise its right to file a wrongful death claim in a civil court using evidence from the criminal proceedings to help establish negligence. If the gathered evidence proves that the surviving driver negligently caused or contributed to the death of their loved one, the family may be entitled to an award of damages. Any restitution received could help with the unexpected financial losses often incurred in the aftermath of fatal auto accidents.

Source: nola.com, "Man, 81, killed in North Shore traffic accident", Kim Chatelain, July 12, 2017

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