Louisiana residents are quite familiar with street festivals as a place to gather with friends and family to enjoy good food and music. Unfortunately a street festival in another state experienced a tragic event when a suspected drunk driver crashed through a barricade blocking the entrance to the street and directly into a crowd of people enjoying the festival. One festivalgoer was killed and four others were injured in the car accident.
According to reports, police did not hesitate to arrest the driver at the scene after suspecting he was drunk behind the wheel. The accident happened around 7:00 p.m. at the annual "Dancing in the Streets" festival in Cleveland. The 35-year-old driver is facing charges of aggravated vehicular manslaughter as a result of the accident. Police have not released any specifics on the nature of the injuries of the victims, including the deceased man's injuries however, reports did indicate two of the injured were in critical condition at a local hospital.
One witness who attempted to help the injured said that he saw one man hit so hard that he was sent six to 10 feet into the air. Pedestrians hit by a vehicle often suffer serious injuries and although reports did not indicate the speed in which the driver crashed through the barricade and into the crowd, witness reports indicate it may have been at a rather high rate of speed. Investigators will no doubt perform a thorough investigation into the accident as is standard procedure in accidents involving serious injury and death.
The family members of the deceased may wish to pursue a wrongful death claim against the seemingly negligent driver of the vehicle in order to recover damages, including burial and funeral expenses and pain and suffering. The other victims may also want to consider personal injury claims to be reimbursed for medical expenses, lost income and any other physical and economic damages they may be entitled to.
Source: WFAB 9, "Deadly Crash: Driver charged after car plows into crowd at street festival," July 30, 2012