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Impairment is suspected in many single auto accidents

When Louisiana law enforcement officers arrive at the scene of a crash involving only one vehicle, they often suspect that either alcohol or drugs impaired the driver. During the course of the investigation, testing is often done to determine whether this was the case. As it turns out, those suspicions are confirmed in a number of single auto accidents.

Only time will tell if those suspicions are correct in a recent single-car accident that took place on Interstate 10. The crash occurred sometime after 4 p.m. on a recent Sunday. When emergency responders arrived at the scene, they discovered that the 23-year-old driver and his 39-year-old passenger both suffered fatal injuries in the impact.

The preliminary investigation indicated that the driver lost control of his vehicle. It then careened into the median, flipped and slammed into a tree. Neither of the vehicle occupants was wearing a seat belt at the time of the crash. A toxicology sample was taken from the driver to determine whether impairment contributed to the accident. In the meantime, both families have the unenviable task of burying their loved ones.

Burying a loved one comes with numerous unexpected expenses, along with the loss of any income that the decedent provided to surviving family members during life. The passenger's family retains the right to file a wrongful death claim against the estate of the driver in a Louisiana civil court. If the family successfully proves negligence through appropriate evidence, they might receive a judgment for damages typically seen in other fatal auto accidents. If restitution is received based on that claim, it might help defray the financial burdens created by this tragedy.

Source:, "Impairment suspected in crash that killed two I-10 West", Jeremy Krail, Feb. 5, 2017

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