A man from Mandeville lost his life on the morning of Jan. 8 after being pinned between two vehicles. The tragedy was actually the result of two separate car accidents, both of which were investigated by Louisiana authorities. So far, police have not filed charges against the driver involved in the fatal crash, but their investigation is ongoing at this time.

According to the report, a 52-year-old man was driving westbound on East Causeway Approach when he swerved to avoid a dog that had run into a street. This caused his vehicle to crash into a median and traffic sign, causing damage to his vehicle that required it be towed to a repair shop. The man’s brother came to pick him up from the accident site, but as they were driving away, forgotten paperwork on top of the brother’s car blew into the street, prompting them to stop and retrieve it.

The 52-year-old exited the vehicle and went behind the car to gather his paperwork when a woman driving in the same direction failed to stop and crashed into the back of the stopped car. This pinned the man between the two vehicles, killing him instantly. Several eyewitnesses corroborated these details. Toxicology scans were conducted by the authorities, but they do not believe intoxication was a factor in either crash.

While it is true that exiting a vehicle in the road can be unsafe, it is also incumbent upon other motorists to help avoid car accidents by exercising cautious driving. It is possible Louisiana authorities will determine the woman to be at fault for failure to stop in time, but even if no criminal charges are filed, the deceased man’s family may still be able to file a wrongful death lawsuit against her in civil court. Evidence of her material contribution to the accident is required in order for the court to award damages to the grieving family. The family may still be able to recover damages even if the court determines that the man was partially responsible for the fatal accident, though any recovery awarded would be reduced by the percentage of fault assigned to him by the court.