Update: Driver Charged in Fatal Accident Involving Cyclists
We first brought you the story of two bicycle riders struck by a vehicle on April 14, 2014 (“Ironman training cut short by fatal accident for 2 Louisiana men”). The two men were out cycling that morning to train for the Ochsner Ironman triathlon. The driver of the vehicle that hit them has now been charged in connection with the fatal accident that caused the death of one of the bicycle riders and the injury of the other.
The cyclist who died was a firefighter in a neighboring state, and the injured driver was his brother-in-law. The impact caused both men to become airborne when they were struck. The force with which they were struck contradicts the driver’s story that he was only traveling between 40 and 45 mph at the time. He also told police that the two bicycle riders moved into his path.
Based on the results of their investigation, authorities charged the driver with negligent injuring and negligent homicide. The information gathered in the investigation and by the family of the deceased firefighter and his brother-in-law may be of use in any related civil litigation. Further, if prosecutors are able to secure a criminal conviction against the man, proof of that may be presented in civil court as evidence of the driver’s negligence.
If negligence can be proved, a Louisiana civil court may award damages to the parties that are permissible under our state laws. Those damages include items such as medical expenses, burial and funeral costs and pain and suffering — among other specified financial losses. Any monetary relief received could defray the inevitable costs associated with a fatal accident.