A recent tragedy has occurred that could have been easily prevented. A crash on the Belle Chasse Bridge caused one man to be seriously injured and another to be killed. On the morning of the crash the conditions were cold and rainy causing the roads to be dangerous. A 2007 Ford F-150 driven by Ruben Vela Rodriguez of Pharr, TX was traveling north on Highway 23 around 8:10 a.m. when he lost control of the truck while crossing over the metal drawbridge grating. State Police believe that the Ford F-150 was traveling at a high rate of speed when he lost control of the vehicle. The truck spun into the left lane and struck the bridge. The vehicle then caught on fire, and the driver was partially ejected from the truck. Both the passenger and driver were not wearing seatbelts. The passenger, whose identity is being withheld, was pronounced dead on the scene. A 2007 Ford Fusion, driven by Michelle Sylve of Port Sulphur, LA was driving behind the truck and could not stop in time. She crashed into the truck and suffered minor injuries. The personal injury attorneys at the Cardone Law Firm have over 40 years of experience handling auto accidents. These car crashes can leave the victim and friends emotionally, financially, and physically devastated. Our personal injury team understands that when a person is looking for an attorney they are looking for someone to guide them through the legal process and, at the same time, avoid the pitfalls that will arise. That is why we have dedicated our careers fighting for injured people and their struggles securing the best possible financial recovery.
The Cardone Law Firm has handled cases very similar to this horrible tragedy that occurred on the Belle Chasse Bridge. Our firm successfully represented a high school student who suffered severe injuries when he was hit by a car on the Crescent City Connection. On July 10, 1993, the victim was injured in an accident on the Eastbank approach to the Crescent City Connection when he, along with others, was attempting to push a vehicle which was stalled in the left lane of travel. The evidence of the case showed that the victim had gone bowling on the Westbank with five of his friends. The friends’ ages ranged from 16 years to 18 years old. Sometime after 11:00 p.m., the group of friends left the bowling alley, stopped at a convenience store for soft drinks and snacks, and headed home. As the group of friends were traveling across the Crescent City Connection, they noticed a stalled vehicle in the far left lane on the approach to the bridge. The victim and his friends then noticed a woman walking towards them from the direction of the bridge. They also saw that the woman was pregnant and that she had a young child with her. Once the boys saw the dangerous situation the lady was in, the driver of their vehicle pulled the automobile in the right hand emergency lane, put on his emergency blinkers, and the boys then left to help her and move the stalled vehicle to a safer position. The testimony in the case also established that before three of the boys began pushing, the group noticed that a police car had pulled into the right emergency lane, on the other side of the bridge. The facts established the police officer looked at them, that at least two of the boys waved to the police officer trying to indicate that they needed help, and that when the police officer pulled up there was no stalled or congested traffic that would have prevented the officer from seeing or hearing them. The police officer did nothing to assist them, nor made any action to move his vehicle from the right side of the bridge to the left side of the bridge, so thinking they had the police officer’s approval, three of the boys began pushing the stalled vehicle.
As the boys began to push the vehicle, the victim was positioned at the right rear of the stalled car. Two of the friends pushed the car as one was steering the vehicle; the three others remained on the far left side of the bridge. Shortly after the boys began pushing the automobile, and while the officer was parked across the bridge, a vehicle driven by the defendant crashed into the right rear of the vehicle striking the victim. The victim was thrown into the air and landed further up the bridge approach. As a result of the injuries received in the accident, the victim’s left leg was amputated above the knee. He went through numerous subsequent surgeries and skin grafts. He underwent physical therapy to relearn how to walk, and his doctors advised him that he still would be required to undergo additional surgeries in the future. Our personal injury attorneys at the Cardone Law Firm were able to receive a settlement in the case in excess of $1 million dollars. The money that we were able to receive for the victim paid for his medical injuries, future medical expenses, and for mental pain and anguish.