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Distracted driver allegedly hits motorcyclists, kills one

Across the United States, including Louisiana, lives are lost every year in automobile accidents. Some of the worst are between passenger vehicles and motorcycles, because the latter provide riders with relatively little protection. The chances of these accidents occurring are compounded when automobile drivers are not paying attention to the road.

One motorcyclist from Greensburg recently lost his life on Louisiana Highway 16 in St. Helena Parish when a car driven by a 19-year-old woman from Pine crossed over the center line and struck two motorcyclists head-on. Louisiana State Police say the Greensburg man, 29, was thrown from his motorcycle and instantly killed. The second cyclist, a 51-year-old man from Walker, survived with minor injuries and was taken to a Baton Rouge hospital. Both men were wearing helmets. An LSP trooper believes the car driver was distracted and entered the wrong lane seconds before the accident.

Medical personnel took toxicology samples from the driver and the two motorcyclists for analysis at the Louisiana state crime lab, although drugs and alcohol are not expected to be factors in the crash, according to the LSP trooper. The car driver has not been arrested but could be, depending on toxicology results.

In the case of fatal motor vehicle accidents, surviving family members should follow the ensuing investigation closely to ensure that it is conducted properly to determine if driver negligence played any part in causing the accident. In Louisiana, texting while driving, driving under the influence and speeding are all considered forms of negligence. If it can be shown that a driver was distracted or negligent a wrongful death can usually be brought against the driver, in addition to whatever criminal charges might be filed. The driver or their insurance company may have to pay compensation if the driver is found to have been at fault.

Source: WBRZ.com, "Motorcyclist killed in St. Helena crash," Hunter Robinson, March 24, 2014

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