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Drunk Driver Not Charged With Felony For Fatal Accident

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A drunk driver from Luling, Louisiana, will not be charged with a felony after allegedly causing the death of a St. Charles Parish deputy. The man, age 57, is accused of causing the fatal accidentthat killed the victim on Aug. 4. Authorities report that the driver's blood alcohol content at the scene of the crash measured 0.10 percent; the legal limit for driving in the state of Louisiana is 0.08 percent. The deputy's widow was reportedly angered by the grand jury's refusal to indict the man on more serious charges; he is now only facing criminal consequences for misdemeanor first-offense DWI.

Official reports show that the deputy himself might have played a role in the fatal crash, as investigators say that he was traveling at a relatively high rate of speed. The victim died as he was responding to a call for backup from another deputy. His police lights were activated as he was traveling down a Luling road; the drunk driver is accused of pulling out in front of him, directly in the path of his vehicle. When the deputy struck the drunk driver's car, his cruiser was sent careening into southbound traffic, where it struck an SUV head-on. A motorcycle was also ultimately involved in the wreck. The driver of the SUV was transported to a New Orleans hospital with critical injuries; two others involved in the wreck suffered minor wounds.

Family members say they are disappointed that the drunk driver will not face more serious charges. They believe the accident was caused by the drunk driver, and he should be held accountable for his actions in criminal court.

Even though the intoxicated driver is not facing hefty charges in criminal court, relatives of the victim may be able to seek civil redress from that man through a wrongful death suit. In civil court, the man could be found responsible for the fatal car crash, and he could be required to pay for a variety of civil claims in connection with the crash. Relatives of victims killed by someone else's negligence may benefit from a consultation with a qualified personal injury attorney, who can help them learn more about their legal rights and options.

Source: The Times-Picayune, "Luling man charged with DWI in wreck that killed St. Charles sheriff's deputy" Littice Bacon-Blood, Jan. 07, 2014

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