Articles Posted in Drunk Driver

Failure to obey a stop sign and suspected driving under the influence has lead to the death of a Ventress man last Friday.

Louisiana State Police has not completed its investigation, but according to initial findings, 27-year-old Nicholas Porche was driving westbound on Section Road in a white Sierra while Michael Holmes, 53-years-old of Ventress, was driving south on Beuche Road in a red F-150 around 5:30 on Friday, November 20.  The crash took place at the intersection of both roads near Erwinville.

According to officials, Porche ran the stop sign at the intersection of Beuche and Section, causing the accident.  Holmes was pronounced dead at the scene by the West Baton Rouge Coroner’s Office.  Porche was wearing his seat belt at the time and received minor injuries, but refused aid.

A drunk driver that caused an accident which lead to a man’s death was sentenced in Calcasieu Parish last Wednesday.

On September 27, 2014, Derek Paul Cooper was driving eastbound in the westbound lanes of I-10 in the Sulphur area.  He had a blood alcohol level of .24, three times the legal limit.  He collided with a car driven by Jeremy Olivier, age thirty-one, who died as a result.

At Cooper’s sentencing on Wednesday, Judge Ron Ware ordered Cooper to 18 years in prison, with three years suspended and credit for time served.  Judge Ware also ordered that the first five years of the sentence be served without benefit of probation, suspension, or parole.  Cooper will be on supervised parole for 2 years following his release.

A stop to check a tow strap turned fatal when the two vehicles were hit by a third on Monday, report State Police.

53-year-old Timothy Bird and 22-year-old Delvonte Wiley, both of Port Allen, were towing a 2005 GMC Yukon behind a 2000 GMC Sierra.  They had stopped in the left westbound lane of US 190 just west of US 61 Baton Rouge to check on the tow strap between the two vehicles when a third vehicle, driven by 33-year-old Chauntel Barnett of Denham Springs, crashed into the Yukon.

The force of the impact caused the Yukon to buck forward, striking Bird, who had gotten out of the Sierra to check the tow strap.  Bird was taken to Our Lady of the Lake Regional Medical Center and later pronounced dead.  Neither Wiley nor Barnett were injured, according to State Police Trooper Bryan Lee.

A University of Louisiana at Lafayette student was crossing University Avenue last week when she was struck by an oncoming motorist.

The student, whose name has been withheld, was in the crosswalk when she was struck, reports Cpl. Paul Mouton.  The driver had made a left from McKinley Street onto University when the two parties collided.

The student received minor injuries to her leg and was taken to a local hospital.  The driver received a ticket for failing to yield to pedestrians in a crosswalk.

Blake David

Blake David of Broussard & David, LLC, Lafayette, was recently named Maritime Section Chair for the Louisiana Association for Justice (LAJ). The Maritime Section of this legal group concerns itself with improving the skill and knowledge of lawyers who represent workers injured in offshore accidents so that their families receive fair compensation from negligent parties and their insurers. The Maritime Section is one of LAJ’s larger sections, due to the increased industrial activity in Louisiana state waterways, rivers, canals, marshes and also given Louisiana’s proximity to work performed offshore in the Gulf of Mexico and the Outer Continental Shelf.

Mr. David has 14 years of experience practicing maritime and admiralty law. His area of practice focuses on personal injury and wrongful death litigation with an emphasis on offshore/maritime, trucking accident, aviation, products liability, industrial accident, and automobile claims. He speaks annually at the Louisiana State Bar Association Admiralty Symposium and is frequently invited to address attorney organizations around the state.

Mr. David was raised in Lafayette and is a founding partner of Broussard & David, LLC. He is the past president of the Lafayette Bar Association, past president of the American Inn of Court of Acadiana, and founding board member and past president of the Federal Bar Association’s Lafayette Chapter. Mr. David is AV-rated by Martindale-Hubbell and recognized by Louisiana Super Lawyers (2012-2016), National Trial Lawyers (2012-2016) and National Association of Distinguished Counsel, which is awarded to the nation’s top one percent of attorneys (2015).

 

A boating incident between a recreational boat and an oilfield crew boat resulted in one fatality and left two others injured in Cameron Parish last Thursday.

Wildlife and Fisheries reported that the accident occurred around 8 a.m. on October 8th.  The oilfield crew boat, which was carrying two, and the other boat carrying a family of three collided in a curve in a canal in Rockefeller Wildlife Refuge.

The family, a father and his two adult sons, were flung from their boat by the impact.  They were pulled from the water by the members of the crew boat who then docked at a nearby landing and contacted an ambulance.

A Louisiana woman is suing an out-of-state trucking company, and its employee over injuries sustained in a two-vehicle incident occurring last year.

Diamond Virgil filed suit against Merrill G. Bush, McLane Trucking, Inc., his employer, and the Insurance Company of Pennsylvania for injuries allegedly sustained as a result of the defendants’ negligence.

Virgil’s complaint states that she was driving eastbound on LA-48 on September 26, 2014, and had stopped at a red light at the intersection of LA-48 and Williams Boulevard.  It was at this time that she was rear-ended by Bush’s vehicle, which struck with such force that it pushed Virgil’s vehicle into the intersection.

Preston Jones of Shreveport died last Monday of his injuries after an 18-wheeler collided with his car in Richland Parish.

According to the State Police investigation, the 18-wheeler, driven by Jon Simmons of Cruger, Mississippi, was driving west on I-20 when it changed lanes in front of Jones’s vehicle, a 1997 Ford Explorer.  Unfortunately, there was not enough space between the two automobiles to complete the maneuver, and the rear of the 18-wheeler’s trailer struck the front of the Explorer.  Jones lost control of the vehicle as it spun rapidly after the collision.  The vehicle was sent into the median and began rolling.  Jones was not wearing his seatbelt at the time of the accident and was flung from the vehicle.  He later succumbed to his injuries at a local hospital. A toxicology sample has been obtained and is awaiting analysis.

According to La. R.S. §32.295.1 (B), each occupant of a passenger car, SUV, or pickup truck is required to have a seatbelt fastened around his or her body at all times when the vehicle is in forward motion.  While this is done for safety reasons and the lack of an in-use seat beat is a violation, it does not play into comparative fault for civil suits.  Subsection E of the aforementioned statute relates that, “in any action to recover damages arising out of the ownership, common maintenance, or operation of a motor vehicle, failure to wear a safety belt in violation of this Section shall not be considered evidence of comparative negligence.”  Further, violation of the seatbelt requirement cannot be admitted as evidence to mitigate damages.

Eighteen-year-old Richard Billingsley of Prairieville was pushing a disabled vehicle off of the highway when he was hit by a speeding vehicle operated by a drunk driver.  Billingsley was pronounced dead at the scene on LA 42 west of LA 44 in Ascension Parish.  The intoxicated operator, 41-year-old J. Thomas Bowers, suffered no injuries.

Prior to the accident, Billingsley was riding with an unidentified woman when the SUV they were riding in broke down.  Authorities reported that the driver turned on her emergency flashers and Billingsley got out to push the vehicle off to the side of the road.  Unfortunately, according to the report, Bowers was traveling east on LA 42 and did not stop, striking Billingsley while traveling above the speed limit.  The SUV driver received minor injuries while Bowers, despite not wearing a seat belt, was unharmed.

After Louisiana State Police arrived at the scene, Bowers refused to submit to a breathalyzer and was taken to St. Elizabeth Hospital a blood sample was obtained.  Bowers was charged with vehicular homicide, DWI, vehicular negligent injuring, reckless operation, open container, speeding, and not wearing a seat belt.  This is Bowers’s second DWI offense.

Two different drunk driving accidents claimed three lives in Louisiana this week.  The first accident occurred in the town of Loranger.  Bruce Pierre was driving his vehicle on Hwy. 40 with Charles Harper in the passenger seat.  The police report states that Pierre was speeding when he collided with the end of a utility trailer being hauled by a pickup truck.  The vehicles collided with such force that Harper, who was not wearing a seatbelt, was ejected from the vehicle and pronounced dead at the scene.

After arriving on the scene, authorities gave Pierre a blood sample test, which he failed.  He was arrested for DWI, vehicular homicide, careless operation, and driving without a license.  The driver of the pickup truck was not inebriated.

The second accident occurred in Washington Parish and resulted in the death of both parties involved, 84-year-old Marjorie Orr and 35-year-old Justin Farley.  Police reported that Farley, who was believed to be inebriated at the time of the crash, veered off the road after missing a turn, overcorrected, and hit another vehicle in which Orr was a passenger.  The impact was enough to tear Farley’s vehicle in two and eject him from the vehicle, despite the fact that he was wearing a seatbelt.

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