NOPD officer Natasha Hunter had been helping to clear a multi-vehicle accident on Interstate 10. She was sitting in her patrol car when Nguyen crashed into the rear of the vehicle. Hunter was transported to the University Medical Center with severe brain injuries. Officer Hunter later died from the injuries she sustained in the car crash.
The New Orleans police department alleges that 33-year-old Chau Thai Nguyen was drunk when he ignored warning lights on Interstate 10 near the Esplanade Avenue exit and crashed into the back of a patrol car killing the police officer. Bail has been set at $1 million.
Nguyen has been charged with reckless operation of a vehicle and vehicular homicide. One source reports that two men claiming to be childhood friends of Nguyen stated Nguyen had been seen drinking before the car crash at Harrah’s Casino.
On average, one person dies in alcohol-related crashes every 53 minutes in the United States.
According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), almost 10,000 people lost their lives in vehicle accidents involving alcohol-impaired drivers during 2014. Only one percent (1.1 million) of the 121 million drives who admitted to driving while impaired by drugs and/or alcohol were arrested in 2014. With these statistics, everyone on our New Orleans roads should be taking precautions to avoid a car crash with a drunk driver.
How Can I Avoid A Drunk Driver?
You may not be able to prevent a driver from choosing to get behind the wheel of a car after consuming alcohol and/or drugs but you can take precautions to avoid crashes with drunk or drugged drivers. Signs that a driver may be impaired by alcohol or drugs include:
- Excessive speed or driving too slowly
- Repeatedly accelerating quickly or slamming on the brakes for no reason
- Weaving and zig-zagging
- Straddling the center line or repeatedly crossing the center line
- Driving on the wrong side of the road
- Giving signals that are inconsistent with the driving actions
- Driving the headlights off at night
- Illegal turns or abrupt turns
- Following too closely (tailgating)
- Road rage or aggressive driving without being provoked
What Should I Do If I See A Drunk Driver On The Road?
If you suspect a driver is impaired by alcohol or drugs, do not try to pass the vehicle or force the driver to pull over. Put more space between you and the vehicle. Note the license number, make, model and color of the vehicle then call 911 to report your suspensions to the police. You should never compromise your own safety to get this information. Your safety and the safety of your passengers should come first.
Do You Need a New Orleans Car Accident Attorney?
If you have been injured in a motor vehicle accident, you want an attorney with experience representing you. The insurance company for the other driver will do whatever it can to pay you as little as possible to settle your claim. It may even deny and delay your claim unnecessarily.
The NoLA personal injury attorneys of The Olinde Firm want to help you receive the compensation you deserve for your injuries. Contact our office at (504) 587-1440 or 1-800-587-1889 to schedule a free legal consultation.