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Man charged with negligent homicide in fatal Louisiana accident

A 21-year-old man from Slidell, Louisiana, has been charged with negligent homicide and negligent injury in connection with a fatal accident that happened about 6 a.m. on February 14, 2013. The two-vehicle accident occurred on Chef Menteur Highway in New Orleans. The man that was killed was also from Slidell.

The 21-year-old was arrested after a warrant was issued by the Orleans Parish Criminal District Court. Investigators said the man was driving recklessly and this is what caused the accident. According to police reports, the victim used his turn signal to indicate he was turning into his place of employment. The defendant failed to realize the victim's vehicle had stopped and rear-ended the car. However, just seconds before the accident, the defendant was waving and honking at friends he was passing on the road.

The crash sent the victim's car into the oncoming lane of traffic, where it was hit by another vehicle. The victim died at the scene of the accident. The defendant suffered a broken leg in the accident.

A breathalyzer test given to the defendant at the accident scene showed he was not under the influence of alcohol. There was video footage of the accident, though, and authorities did an inspection on the defendant's car. Once the inspection showed there was nothing wrong with the brakes on the vehicle, the arrest warrant was issued.

The defendant is being held on a $15,000 bond. Negligent homicide carries a possible sentence of up to five years in prison and a fine of $5,000 in Louisiana.

The family of the man who was killed may have a wrongful death claim against the 21-year-old driver, even if he is found not guilty in the criminal case. An experienced attorney should be contacted to learn more about the civil options for collecting financial compensation when a loved one dies due to someone's negligence or recklessness.

Source:  nola.com, "Slidell man booked with negligent homicide in eastern New Orleans accident" Helen Freund, May. 31, 2013

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