Ronald Allen Killed, Several Hurt in Port Allen, LA, Accident
Port Allen, LA -- April 19, 2017, Ronald Allen was killed and several others were injured following an accident where an 18-wheeler crashed into traffic.
The Louisiana State Police reported that the accident took place along eastbound I-10 near the intersection of State Highway 415. They received the call at around 5:30 p.m.
Preliminary police investigations indicate that traffic on I-10 had begun to slow down due to rush hour. As 70-year-old Gerald Theriot was waiting in traffic in his GMC sierra, he was suddenly struck from behind by an 18-wheeler driven by Harvey Harris. The 18-wheeler continued into the back of a Chevy Impala driven by 26-year-old Allen.
The collision then pushed the Impala into the back of a second 18-wheeler driven by 71-year-=old David Short Jr., causing the car to catch on fire. Short's 18-wheeler was in turn pushed into a Ford F-250 being driven by 18-year-old Maykoll Cabrera.
Before rescue crews could arrive, Allen succumbed to fatal injuries at the scene. The others involved were extricated from their vehicles and taken to area hospitals. Injuries ranged from minor to serious, though each person's specific condition was not given.
Police did not report any charges or citations resulting from the accident. They did not release any additional details regarding the crash.
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It's very troublesome how many accidents like this one I come across. Our firm has handled several accident similar to this one, and to most people they seem very straight-forward. The truck driver either wasn't paying attention or was driving too fast and plowed into a line of traffic. It may surprise those people to hear that when an accident involves a commercial truck, things are never so easy, regardless of the fact pattern.
Trucking companies are not in the business of accepting liability for accidents, no matter how clear it may seem to others that their driver caused the accident. The two most common excuses in these sorts of scenarios are that one of the vehicles in front of them cut the driver off, causing the collision or that the truck's brakes suddenly failed.
To the first one, the details of this accident already make this argument unreasonable. If this were the case, surely the truck would not have had the momentum to push through four vehicles, one of which was another 18-wheeler traveling slowly. If the 18-wheeler indeed had been cut off, presumably the driver would have hit the brakes, not let go and let the truck run wild. This argument may have standing in a typical rear-end accident, but it's not likely to work when the truck strikes a line of traffic.
The second possible argument, that the brakes failed, is harder to counter. I've seen plenty of accidents where investigators aren't sent to look at the truck quickly enough, so the company claims the issue was already fixed so the truck could be sent back into operation. Had a professional gotten involved promptly and issued the trucking company a letter of spoliation, they would be required to preserve evidence or otherwise harsh sanctions during litigation.
And even if that evidence is preserved, it's not like the average person will know what they're looking for to determine if the trucking company was being honest. That would take the experience of a trained industry professional. Letter of spoliation, thorough investigations--these aren't the kinds of things most people have access to at a moment's notice. This is why many of these truck accidents end up having professionals attorneys involved.
An experienced attorney knows the excuses trucking companies are likely to use, and they know the strategies that will counter them. Not only that, but they can provide victims and their families with the tools and experience necessary to executing those strategies. Like I said, just because the details of an accident seem straight-forward doesn't mean that victims and families will automatically get the justice they deserve. That takes proper preparation and experience to effectively guard against the blame-shifting tactics which trucking companies of which trucking companies are capable.
--Grossman Law Offices