Police in Louisiana say that a local woman is dead after a tractor-trailer driver from Jackson, Mississippi caused a fatal accident on a highway in Franklin Parish. Police say the accident happened a little after 10 p.m. Saturday night on Highway 4, just east of U.S. Highway 425.
Police investigators say that the tractor-trailer was driven by 36-year-old Venel Juste of Jackson and was heading west on Highway 4 when it appears Juste missed his exit. Rather than continue along the interstate and turn around at the next opportunity, Juste decided to stop his tractor-trailer in the middle of the road and back up.
At the same time as Juste was backing up, a pickup truck driven by a 22-year-old was traveling the same direction and collided with the back of the semi. The coroner’s office says the woman suffered fatal injuries as a result of the crash and was pronounced dead at the scene. The driver of the tractor-trailer and his passenger reported no injuries.
Tragically, police say they suspect Juste and his passenger, his wife Geraldine, were both drinking prior to the crash. Authorities took a sample of Juste’s blood at the accident scene and say that the crash remains under investigation. So far Juste has been taken to jail and is charged with vehicular homicide and improper backing. If convicted, Juste faces up to 30 years behind bars and a fine of up to $15,000.
Unfortunately, drivers in Mississippi have plenty of experience sharing crowded interstates and highways with heavy trucks. Doing so can sometimes be a nerve-wracking experience. The numbers support the nerves: each year there are over 400,000 truck accidents across the country, including many here in Jackson, MS. Out of these hundreds of thousands of accidents, 5,000 lives are typically lost when heavy semis crash into much smaller and lighter passenger vehicles.
In fact, the trend for more and deadlier truck-related accidents is on the rise. According to data gathered by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the number of fatal truck accidents rose by nearly nine percent in 2010, the first rise in several years. This rise runs in direct contrast with the continued declines in the number of other fatal accidents on the nation’s highways. As the roads get safer, dangers associated with semi-trucks remains as great as ever.
If you or someone you know has been injured or killed in a car or truck accident resulting from someone’s negligence, please contact the Jackson / Madison auto accident lawyers at Kobs & Philley at (601) 856-7800.
Source: “Driver killed after crashing into backing up semi on highway,” published at KNOE.com.
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