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Investigation into fatal accident continues for Baton Rouge police

Baton Rouge, LA – There were reports out of the Baton Rouge area of pending charges against a driver who was responsible for a fatal collision. 

Driver to be charged following death of Denham Springs teenager

A tragic incident occurred on Wednesday, July 12, in Denham Springs, Louisiana, where a three-vehicle crash claimed the life of a 19-year-old teenager and led to multiple charges against the suspect involved [1]. Louisiana State Police reported that William Cokes, a 49-year-old resident of Baton Rouge, will be facing several charges in connection with the fatal accident.

According to authorities, Cokes will be charged with vehicular homicide, first-degree vehicular injuring, reckless operation of a vehicle, possession of alcoholic beverages in motor vehicles, and no driver’s license. Following the crash, Cokes will be booked into the Livingston Parish Detention Center after receiving medical treatment.

The victim of the tragic accident was identified as Caleb Easterling, a 19-year-old resident of Denham Springs. The collision occurred on LA 64 near LA 1019 in Livingston Parish, and it had devastating consequences.

Preliminary investigations indicate that the accident occurred when Cokes’ vehicle veered across the center lane, resulting in a head-on collision with Easterling’s vehicle. The impact was severe enough that a Dodge Charger following them also crashed into the back of Easterling’s car. The young teenager, Caleb Easterling, tragically lost his life as a result of the collision.

As of the summary’s writing, the crash investigation is still ongoing, and authorities are working diligently to determine the exact cause and circumstances surrounding the incident. It remains unclear why Cokes’ vehicle crossed the center lane and led to the devastating accident.

The community of Denham Springs mourns the loss of Caleb Easterling, as he was remembered and celebrated by those who knew him. Meanwhile, the suspect, William Cokes, will have to face the legal consequences of his actions once he is discharged from medical treatment and booked into custody.

This incident serves as a grim reminder of the potential consequences of reckless driving and the importance of responsible behavior on the roads. The investigation will likely delve deeper into the events leading up to the crash, aiming to bring closure to the family of the victim and to determine appropriate accountability for the suspect involved.

When can a person be charged for causing a fatal motor vehicle accident under Louisiana law?

Under Louisiana law, a person can be charged for causing a fatal motor vehicle accident under various circumstances. The charges brought against the individual will depend on the specific facts of the case and the degree of negligence or recklessness displayed by the responsible party. The charges typically include vehicular homicide and other related offenses. Let’s explore the key aspects of when and how a person can be charged for causing a fatal motor vehicle accident in Louisiana.

Vehicular Homicide:

  • Vehicular homicide is a serious charge in Louisiana that applies when a person’s negligent or reckless actions while operating a motor vehicle result in the death of another individual. To be charged with vehicular homicide, it is not necessary for the driver to have the intent to cause harm or death; it is enough for their actions to have been careless or reckless. This charge can be brought against a driver who causes a fatal accident while violating traffic laws, driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol, or engaging in other dangerous behaviors.

First-Degree Vehicular Injuring:

  • In addition to vehicular homicide, Louisiana law provides for the offense of first-degree vehicular injuring. This charge can be applicable when a person’s negligent driving causes serious bodily injury to another individual. If the injuries sustained by the victim are severe but do not result in death, the responsible driver can be charged with first-degree vehicular injuring.

Reckless Operation of a Vehicle:

  • A person can be charged with reckless operation of a vehicle if they display a willful and wanton disregard for the safety of others while operating a motor vehicle. This charge can be brought against individuals who engage in extremely dangerous driving behaviors that endanger the lives of others on the road. While reckless operation does not necessarily involve a fatal accident, it can contribute to the severity of the charges if an accident does occur.

Possession of Alcoholic Beverages in Motor Vehicles:

  • In Louisiana, it is illegal to possess open alcoholic beverage containers in the passenger area of a motor vehicle, whether the vehicle is in motion or parked. If a person involved in a fatal accident is found to have had open alcoholic beverage containers in the vehicle at the time of the collision, they may face additional charges related to the possession of alcoholic beverages in motor vehicles.

No Driver’s License:

  • If the driver responsible for a fatal motor vehicle accident does not possess a valid driver’s license or is driving with a suspended or revoked license, they can be charged with driving without a license. This can be an aggravating factor that leads to increased penalties.

In conclusion, a person can be charged for causing a fatal motor vehicle accident in Louisiana if their actions are deemed negligent, reckless, or in violation of traffic laws. The charges may include vehicular homicide, first-degree vehicular injuring, reckless operation of a vehicle, possession of alcoholic beverages in motor vehicles, and driving without a license. It is crucial for all drivers to prioritize road safety, adhere to traffic laws, and avoid engaging in dangerous behaviors to prevent tragic accidents and the devastating consequences that follow.

Advice from a local accident attorney in Baton Rouge

Miller, Hampton, and Hilgendorf is a firm that handles various kinds of car accident and personal injury cases. They can assist anyone who needs legal advice following an injury.

USAttorneys.com is a service that helps people get connected with lawyers in their area. They can be reached at 800-672-3103

Firm contact info:

Miller, Hampton, and Hilgendorf

3960 Government St., Baton Rouge, LA 70806

225-343-2205

www.mlhlaw.com

 

Sources:

  1. https://www.wafb.com/2023/07/30/lsp-suspect-faces-charges-following-crash-that-killed-denham-springs-teen/