Articles Posted in Drunk Driver

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.

A three-vehicle crash in Delcambre resulted the death of an uncle and nephew from Abbeville, according to police reports.

On November 26, 2015, Jones Mitchell and Gerald Mitchell were traveling west on Suzuki motorcycles on LA 14 and approaching an east-west crossover.  An 18-wheeler, driven by Earnest Comesana Jr.,  was traveling east on LA 14 and approaching the same crossover.   Comesana turned left into the crossover to begin traveling east and the Mitchells were unable to avoid colliding with Comesana’s trailer as it entered their lane of travel.

Although the Mitchell’s were wearing Department of Transportation-approved helmets, both received fatal injuries as a result of the collision and were pronounced dead at the scene by the Iberia Parish Coroner’s Office.  Comensana was properly restrained at the time of the crash and received no injuries.

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.