A man whose vehicle struck and killed a 12-year-old girl last year is now facing criminal charges, according to local sources. Louisiana police did not arrest the apparently negligent driver, but the 77-year-old man is now accused of misdemeanor careless driving charges. If he is found guilty, he could face jail time, which will be decided in criminal court in the near future.
According to the initial accident report filed last year, the 12-year-old girl was crossing the street next to a middle school in Slidell when the accident occurred. The details of the crash were not included in the report, but it appears the 77-year-old man struck her with his vehicle while she was crossing the street. She was pronounced dead of her injuries.
Speaking on why it has taken so long to file criminal charges, prosecutors said it can often take this length of time for crash analysts to go over the evidence at the scene to determine what caused the accident. In this case, alcohol and drugs are not believed to have been factors. However, experts say the man was operating his vehicle in a manner that could be described as imprudent, careless or inattentive.
In this case, the man has cooperated with authorities and even attempted to save the girl's life at the scene by performing CPR, but this does not change the fact that he has been accused of being a negligent driver and thus responsible for her death. He will be represented in a Louisiana court by a criminal defense attorney. Even if he is not convicted, however, the girl's family is entitled to file a wrongful death lawsuit against him in civil court, seeking a monetary judgment for damages incurred due to her tragic death.