Three people tragically lost their lives and a fourth individual was placed under arrest following a fatal crash on the Westbank Expressway in Marrero. The Louisiana State Police have confirmed they believe the man they arrested was a drunk driver who caused the crash. A pastor was one of the three fatal victims. The driver believed responsible has been booked into the Jefferson Parish Correctional Center in advance of a trial date, which has not yet been announced.
According to the report filed by state troopers, it appears the 49-year-old pastor was operating an SUV headed eastbound on the expressway and was carrying two passengers when he became involved in a single-vehicle accident. He and his two passengers, a 49-year-old man and a 66-year-old man, exited the vehicle after the SUV was disabled in the road. The three were attempting to move the vehicle when a 40-year-old New Orleans man headed eastbound reportedly struck them.
The force of the impact pushed both vehicles off the road, with two other cars becoming involved in the collision. All three men from the SUV were pronounced dead at the scene. The driver who struck them was injured in the crash as well. He was taken to a local hospital, where a toxicology sample was taken to determine his level of sobriety. He faces charges of vehicular homicide, vehicular negligent injuring, and several other lesser charges.
Drunk driving accidents are all the more tragic for being avoidable. Louisiana law deals harshly with a drunk driver, and if this man is found guilty he could face years in prison. Separately, the families of the victims will be entitled under state law to file wrongful death lawsuits against him in civil court. If they are awarded damages by the court, it can go a long way toward handling final arrangements and recouping other monetary damages incurred as a result of the accident.