Lafayette, LA — A man from Abbeville, 43-year old Billy Meaux, was killed on Saturday morning (November 9) after his car was hit by an 18-wheeler truck that had run a red light. The accident happened in Lafayette along U.S. 90 at Verot School Road.
Meaux was driving a Nissan Altima and was turning onto U.S. 90 from Verot School Road with a green light when an eastbound 18-wheeler ran a red light and crashed into his car and a Chevrolet Suburban. The impact killed Meaux immediately and injured both the truck driver and the Suburban’s driver.
Police confirmed that Meaux and the Suburban had a green light, identifying the other driver as Billy Bourque. The semi-truck driver, 30-year old Hilmar Estrada, and Bourque were both injured by the wreck and taken to a hospital for treatment.
It’s not clear why Estrada’s 18-wheeler ran the red light, but police said they’re investigating the matter further. The accident happened at about 5:30 a.m.
Scene of the Accident
I noticed that the news reports said that toxicology tests were being performed on the drivers involved, which is a good thing. I’ve handled a lot of trucking accidents in my career and there are many, many different reasons a truck driver might run a red light. Driver inattention is obviously a common factor, but there are, unfortunately, a lot of truck drivers who have been found to be under the influence of something behind the wheel. I’m not saying that’s the case here, but I do think it’s a good idea to make sure with a solid investigation.
Furthermore, given the early hour of the accident, the truck driver’s hours of service ought to be checked as well. Trucking companies, along with the FMCSA, require their drivers to log their hours behind the wheel to prevent drivers from becoming fatigued and staying awake for too many hours. If it turns out that there’s been any kind of issue with this driver’s hours or that alcohol/drugs were a factor, then not only will the driver have to answer for his actions, but the trucking company that hired him will have to answer as well.
— Grossman Law Offices