According to KATC, the former pledge of the Kappa Sigma fraternity at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette who caused a fatal collision last year after falling asleep at the wheel is now suing the fraternity. The victim of the incident in question, a 24-year-old student from Uzbekistan, was walking along Johnston Street during the 2016 homecoming weekend when the pledge veered off the road, striking him.
Now, the 20-year-old pledge and his parents are suing the fraternity and some of its members for perpetrating the hazing that resulted in sleep deprivation. They believe the actions of the Kappa Sigma fraternity are responsible for the tragic accident.
The plaintiff alleges that during homecoming weekend, members of the fraternity forced him to act as their designated driver. He also claims the reason he fell asleep at the wheel at around 1:40 a.m. was sleep deprivation following several days of hazing.
Responders pronounced the pedestrian, who was one month away from earning his engineering degree, dead at the scene. The victim’s mother has also filed a lawsuit alleging that the motorist had been subjected to forced sleep deprivation prior to the accident.
If you were hurt or lost someone you love in a motor vehicle collision with a drowsy driver, contact Laborde Earles Law Firm. Our award-winning legal team is relentless when it comes to securing compensation for accident victims. Call 800-522-6733 to schedule a free case evaluation with a personal injury attorney in Lafayette.
Understanding the Dangers of Drowsy Driving
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Because of fatigue’s effects on the body, driving while drowsy can be just as dangerous as driving while under the influence of drugs or alcohol. In fact, according to the National Sleep Foundation, your cognitive functioning following 18 consecutive hours awake is similar to what you might experience if your blood alcohol concentration was 0.05. If you drive after staying awake for 24 consecutive hours, your response time will be similar to that of driving with a BAC of 0.10.
In the case mentioned above, the pledge told police that he had been awake for 36 hours straight. The toxicology tests following the collision did not reveal any signs of chemical impairment. Since there is no evidence that he violated the law prior to the collision, he did not face criminal charges for the accident.
In addition to various members of the fraternity, the motorist’s family has also filed a lawsuit against the University of Louisiana System. They allege that the school knew or should have known of the egregious hazing and believe the university violated its duty of care to protect its students.
In most motor vehicle collisions, fault lies with at least one of the drivers involved. As the above case illustrates, though, some accidents are more complicated, and there may have been other factors at play that contributed to the incident.
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If you were hurt in a preventable accident but you are not sure whom to name as a defendant in your case, contact Laborde Earles Law Firm. Our team has the knowledge, skillset, and resources to face insurance adjusters from even the largest companies. Call 800-522-6733 to schedule a free consultation with a personal injury lawyer in Lafayette.