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Unlicensed driver caused catastrophic Louisiana trucking accident

Louisiana highway I-10 is finally opened after an unlicensed driver caused a disastrous multi-vehicle crash in which a tanker carrying flammable liquid was rear-ended and leaked some of its content all over the highway. The local man flipped his car into the middle of the interstate after clipping a tractor-trailer truck, which resulted in the multi-vehicle trucking accident. The incident reminds Louisiana drivers of the serious injuries that can flow from a trucking accident and that there can be multiple causes for such accidents.

The police investigation reveals that an unlicensed local man caused the start of the potentially catastrophic accident. After hitting the vehicle in front of him he swerved and hit a retaining wall twice, causing him to flip his car. The truck driver he initially hit stopped in front of the overturned vehicle so it would not be hit by traffic. The trucker driving a tanker full of flammable liquid saw the crash and stopped behind the first truck. When he did, another truck could not stop in time and crashed into the tanker. The impact caused the tanker to leak the fluid all over the highway.

In light of the danger of the liquid, officials closed I-10 for over 24 hours and evacuated the area. Professionals then used a "vent and burn" technique to drain and burn off the liquid. Following the incident, officers cited the unlicensed driver and the driver who hit the tanker. The authorities did not issue any tickets to the first or second truck driver. Fortunately, those involved in the incident only suffered minor injuries however it could have been much worse.

The hazard posed by the tanker in this case demonstrates just how dangerous trucking accidents can be and that they can involve complex liability questions. Under Louisiana law those injured in a trucking accident have a variety of potential remedies. To recover for injuries, a wounded individual must make out a showing of negligence. Typically, the injured person will focus on the driver whose negligence caused the accident. Issues like improper training, speeding, reckless or inattentive driving are usually relevant in such cases.

In the I-10 catastrophe, authorities decided not to issue any tickets to two of the truckers, while two other drivers were cited in the multi-vehicle accident. While this fact is important, regardless of whether a driver is cited, it does not preclude an injured person from pursuing a civil recovery from the negligent driver or the trucking company involved.

Source: WAFB, "All lanes of I-10 reopen after tanker crash," Aug. 23, 2012

Source: The Advocate, "BRPD: Driver in I-10 crash lacked license," Kimberly Vetter, Aug. 31, 2012

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