Tragic crash on I-10 outside New Orleans illustrates importance of distracted driving law

The driver who crashed into two vehicles on the shoulder of I-10 W outside of New Orleans, killing one of the occupants, was charged with negligent homicide on April 14. This tragic Interstate accident is a reminder of the importance of staying vigilant while driving, and the reasoning behind Louisiana’s distracted driving laws.

Using a cell phone while driving is one of the most common types of distracted driving. That’s why, in Louisiana, it’s illegal for all drivers to operate a cell phone to text, use social media, or make a phone call in a school zone. It’s also illegal for Class E license or permit holders to use their cell phones unless hands-free, and for underage drivers to use their phones at all while driving.

There are three exceptions to the Louisiana cell phone restrictions above:

  • Emergency services personnel can use their devices in their official duties
  • Phones can be used for GPS purposes while path finding
  • Drivers can use their phones to report emergencies or criminal acts

Distracted driving crash on I-10

On February 27, Manuel Llorens was using his cell phone when he struck two vehicles on the shoulder of I-10 who’d pulled over after a minor accident. He hit both drivers of the vehicles, killing one and seriously injuring the other. Llorens himself was unharmed.

After an investigation that took over a month, Louisiana state troopers have booked Llorens for negligent homicide, vehicular negligent injuring, use of telecommunications devices prohibited while driving, and other offenses. For just the negligent homicide charge, Llorens could be facing up to five years in jail.

What to do if you’re the victim of a distracted driving accident

Along with the criminal charges Llorens is facing, he could face a civil suit from the family of the deceased driver for wrongful death, as well as from the surviving driver for their car accident injuries.

If you or a loved one has been injured or killed in a car accident, don’t hesitate to call an experienced personal injury lawyer to consult about your case. The knowledgeable Louisiana car accident injury lawyers at Gordon McKernan Injury Attorneys are dedicated to our clients, and we’ve been able to help them win over our decades of Louisiana law practice.

If you’ve been hurt by a distracted driver, don’t delay. Call Gordon McKernan Injury Attorneys today at for a free consultation.