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Louisiana driver fatigue a factor in Guardsman's death?

The Louisiana Army National Guard has been in cooperation with local efforts across the state to bring relief to those affected by Hurricane Isaac. A recent detail of Guardsmen were in Hammond supplying assistance and returning home to Shreveport when tragedy stuck, wounding one and killing another. The military Humvee was traveling at the rear of a northbound convoy when an 18 wheeler approached from behind and struck the Humvee. Officials are not sure if driver fatigue played a role in this accident at the time of this report.

Troopers arrived on the scene around 3:20 p.m. to find the Humvee overturned in the median, and the Kenworth 18 wheeler also in the median. The driver of the Kenworth was not injured, and a routine blood toxicology test was sent for evaluation. The results of that test may determine if any charges will be filed for impairment. Both Guardsmen were wearing their seat belts at the time of the accident.

Another passenger in the Humvee was injured and transported to a nearby hospital. His injuries were not life threatening. Nevertheless, he retains the right to file personal injury claims against the driver. The family of the deceased may also choose to pursue a wrongful death lawsuit against the driver and the driver's employer, if appropriate.

Louisiana State police released a statement of condolence for the loss. When someone enlists in any branch of the armed forces, falling victim to a car accident near home is not typically on the list of dangers. Unfortunately when driver fatigue, inattention or some type of impairment are involved, the uniform cannot protect you from someone else's negligence. While it remains to be seen if negligence was at the root of this tragedy, the injured victim and family of the deceased soldier will likely be interested in the findings of the official investigation.

Source: avoyellestoday.com, "Louisiana Army National Guardsman Killed In Crash Returning home from Hurricane Isaac duty," Sept. 12, 2012