Articles Posted in Auto Accidents

A two-car collision in Baton Rouge last Saturday resulted in the death of a Memphis man and an injured local preacher.

George Mabon and Reverend John Pitzer were passengers in a Mercedes when it was stuck at the intersection of South Acadian Thruway and North Boulevard.  Authorities believe that a southbound Nissan ran the red light and struck the back of the west-traveling Mercedes.  Pitzer suffered fractured ribs and was transported to a local hospital.  Mabon did not survive the crash.

The unidentified Nissan driver has yet to be charged, pending an ongoing investigation that involves accident reconstruction and the driver’s blood test. However, charges have already been filed on the driver of the Mercedes, John Baur of Memphis, after officers observed visible signs of intoxication at the time of the accident.  Responding officers reported that Baur’s eyes were red, his balance unsure, and his breath and person smelled of alcohol.  A field sobriety test was conducted and Baur’s blood-alcohol level registered 0.13 percent.  In Louisiana, a blood-alcohol content of 0.08 percent or higher is considered presumptive evidence of drunk driving.  Baur was booked on counts of first-offence DWI and reckless operation, with other possible charges pending. 

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The first annual Bicycle Safety Festival will be held on June 4th from 9am-12pm at Parc Sans Souci in downtown Lafayette. The Bicycle Safety Festival is presented by Lafayette Consolidated Government, Bike Lafayette, and Broussard & David, LLC. There will be free adult and youth bicycle helmets for the first 300 participants, free bike registration, free safety training and instruction, and participants are eligible to win a free bicycle (valued at $300 – courtesy of Hub City Cycles). Additionally, there will be food, refreshments and musical entertainment by Zydeco Radio.

In Acadiana, there have been far too many cyclists injured in preventable bicycle accidents. The aim of this event is to help cyclists and motorists become more knowledgeable about bicycle safety and the rules of the road. As Lafayette Consolidated Government embraces more bicycle lanes and smarter growth, bicycle awareness is becoming even more essential.

Broussard & David, LLC, a law firm located in downtown Lafayette, has a great deal of experience in representing people catastrophically injured in bicycle related accidents. In sponsoring this event, the partners at Broussard & David, LLC hope that — through education and training — the roads will be safer for bicyclists, motorists and pedestrians alike.

Duck Commander Inc., the company behind Duck Dynasty, and the Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development have been named defendants in a lawsuit filed by Jennifer Young, the mother of Madison Welch.

Filed in St. Martin Parish, the suit maintains that Madison Welch’s accident was not simple user error, but rather the result of an 18-wheeler operated “by agents, employees and/or licensees of Duck Commander Inc.” cutting into Welch’s lane and forcing her off the road.  This allegation evidently arises from a phone conversation Welch was engaged with at the time of the incident.  The friend who was on the other end reported that Welch exclaimed something about a nearby truck and then the line went silent.  Shortly after being told by the friend of what occurred, Welch’s family was notified of the accident. Welch’s Toyota Tacoma left the road and flipped, ejecting her.  Welch later succumbed to her injuries and died.

Young’s case additionally relies on the testimony of William Kirksey, who claimed to have witnessed the entire event and was one of the first people on the scene.  Kirksey stated that two 18-wheelers were exiting the freeway at the same time as Welch.  Both were in line, but at one point, one of them swerved into Welch’s lane, apparently causing her to veer off the road.

A collision on the Lake Pontchartrain Bridge caused a 90-minute closure and left two women with moderate injuries last Friday.

Alvin Kimbrel of Belle Chasse was cited for careless driving after failing to recognize a vehicle as stalled in the right lane of the southbound side of the highway.  Kimbrel’s Ford F250 hit the other vehicle, a Dodge Ram containing driver, Alicia Lee, and passenger, Kala Perkins, at 65 miles per hour.  The force of impact pushed the Ram approximately 434 feet and caused it to catch fire, according to authorities.  The two women were aided in escaping the burning vehicle by a state trooper who was near the scene at the time.

According to reports, the Dodge Ram had experienced engine failure while on the Bridge and had coasted to a stop.  Despite having its emergency flashers activated, Kimbrel failed to recognize that the vehicle was stopped and thus did not take evasive action.  Kimbrel’s Ford flipped and landed on its wheels, blocking the remainder of the highway.

An incident during last year’s Krewe of Excalibur Carnival parade in Metairie has resulted in civil repercussions.  Don J. Dauzat, 52, was struck and killed by an allegedly drunk motorist who was purportedly pursued by a Jefferson Parish Sheriff’s Deputy at the time.  Now, Dazuat’s family has filed a wrongful-death suit in the 24th Judicial District Court in Gretna, naming the Jefferson Parish Sheriff’s Office, Excalibur, King Arthur, PFJ Float Co., and others as defendants.

According to the suit, Dauzat had finished dropping off the float he was pulling for the Excalibur parade and was transporting a tractor to a staging area for the Knights of King Arthur parade.  It was at this time, about 2:50 a.m., that he was struck by a 2002 Ford Explorer driven by Michael Burrle near Lapalco Boulevard and Paxton Street in Harvey.  The impact caused the tractor to roll approximately 70 feet and flung Dauzat from it, resulting in severe injuries to his skull and brain.  He was transported to a New Orleans hospital but died less than a day later from his injuries.

Burrle was booked on suspicion of DWI and was eventually charged with vehicular homicide to which he plead not guilty.

A New Orleans parade route had a bit of an interruption on Friday, January 29, when an 18-wheeler struck a tree along the route.  The impact caused a large branch to fall on six people, injuring four.

The four Oshun and Cleopatra attendees were treated for minor injuries, according to New Orleans Police Department.  Local fire department and emergency personnel were also on the scene, which occurred at the intersection of Amelia Street and Saint Charles Avenue.

According to nola.com, a witness stated that it looked like the driver was attempting to avoid the crowd when he struck the tree at around 7:50 p.m.  A city clean-up crew arrived to cut and transport the branch to clear the street.  The work was completed at around 10 p.m.

A two-vehicle crash involving four individuals occurred last Sunday in Crown Point.  Two were injured, one of whom, Susan Tiano, 71 of Lexington, Massachusetts, was later pronounced dead at University Medical Center in New Orleans, according to reports.

The incident occurred at the intersection of Bataria Boulevard and Leo Kerner Lafitte Parkway at 5 p.m. January 9, 2015.  According to the investigating officers, Tiano was a passenger in a 2015 Nissan Versa driven by Anton Becker, 75 of Newport, Massachusetts.  The Versa was driving southbound on Bataria, when, after turning left and disregarding a stop sign, it collided with a 2004 Nissan Titan driven by a Marrero man.

The two occupants of the Titan as well as Marrero were taken to a local hospital for minor injuries. Tiano, who suffered injuries significantly more severe was brought to University Medical Center by paramedics.

A three-vehicle crash on New Year’s Eve left one dead and others injured, according to Louisiana State Police.

Jocelyn Tennart, 45 of Zachary, was traveling eastbound on West Flanacher Road in East Baton Rouge Parish around 8 p.m. last Thursday.  Simultaneously, Marion Fuller, 71, was traveling south on U.S. 61.  Tennart was driving a Saturn car while Fuller was in a Chevrolet Silverado.

For reasons yet to be determined, Tennart failed to yield at the intersection of the two roads causing her to come into the path of the Silverado.  The impact occurred on the Saturn’s driver side and Tennart, who was not wearing a seat belt, was pronounced dead at the scene by the East Baton Rouge Coroner’s Office.

A pilot’s wife has accused several companies of performing faulty maintenance on the helicopter her husband was flying when it suffered catastrophic engine failure, which led to his death.

Colleen Hicks, of Oklahoma, individually, on behalf of her minor children, and as representative of her husband, Brandon Seth Ricks, filed suit on December 10 against Cadorath Aerospace LaFayette LLC, H&H Turbine Services LLC and Rotorcraft Leasing Co. LLC, claiming negligence that resulted in Brandon Ricks’s death.

The complaint states that Brandon Ricks, age 40, was piloting a Model 206 L-1 helicopter from Griffin Memorial Airport in Mississippi to aid in a controlled burn initiated by the U.S. Forest Service on March 30.  At a point during the flight, engine failed, resulting in a crash that killed both Ricks and the passenger.  According to the suit, Cadorath and the other defendants performed negligent maintenance on the craft from 2009 to 2014 which caused the engine failure in question.

A Gonzales man is being charged with negligent homicide over the death of a Baton Rouge high school freshman last Wednesday.

On December 9, Brennan Rube, 14 years old of Prairieville, was bicycling on LA-73  when he was struck by a 2000 Dodge truck driven by Joshua Ashford, 26-years-old of Gonzales.  The force of impact flung Rube from his bicycle.  He was not wearing a helmet and died at the scene.  The crash happened around 6 p.m., according to Louisiana State Police.

Both vehicles were traveling in the same direction and Rube was struck by the front right side of Ashford’s truck.  According to the police report, Ashford was speeding on a road with a posted speed limit of 45 miles per hour.  Police do not suspect Ashford of being impaired at the time of the accident, however a routine toxicology test is pending.

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