A Louisiana police officer has been placed on paid leave until an internal investigation is completed for contributing to an accident that left a one-year-old child dead. Officer Christopher Manuel, 28, who was off-duty at the time of the collision, was allegedly driving 94 miles per hour down Airline Highway in his 2007 Chevrolet Corvette back in 2017 when he struck a Nissan near the intersection of Florine Boulevard. Inside the Nissan that sat five were eight occupants.
The Times-Picayune reported that none of the individuals in the Nissan were wearing their seatbelts and all eight passengers were transported to the hospital after suffering serious injuries. Sadly, one-year-old Seyaira Stephens later died from her injuries. Manuel was recently booked in February on one count each of negligent homicide and speeding. But, Manuel wasn’t the only one charged in this accident. Twenty-year-old Brittany Stephens is also facing charges, one count of negligent homicide, after investigators learned that she failed to properly secure her child’s car seat.
Although police received some backlash for arresting the mother who wasn’t driving the vehicle and had just lost her child, the report reveals why. Although Stephens wasn’t driving, she was responsible for securing her child’s car seat in the vehicle properly along with securing her daughter inside the seat. But, police reported that Stephens wedged the car seat in between the two front seats and placed it on the center console. Not only was the seat unbuckled, but the straps were not adjusted properly either. Seeing that Stephens did not take the necessary measures to secure her child’s seat, which may have prevented her from dying, she is now facing the repercussions for her negligent actions. Although both Manuel and Stephens were charged, the news source has stated that it is not yet clear whether either will be prosecuted.
I was recently involved in an accident in New Orleans. What are my rights?
Involved in an accident in New Orleans? Contact the accident lawyers at Smith Stag to learn how they can help you through this difficult time.
The truth is, accidents of all types happen for various reasons. Sometimes, it is our own negligence that causes them, and other times, it is another individual’s behavior that leads up to the accident transpiring. Either way, it is important to understand that every accident victim has rights. Are you aware of what your rights are as an accident victim? If you answered no and you were recently involved in a collision or other type of incident in New Orleans, now would be a good time to consult with a New Orleans accident lawyer at Smith Stag.
Accident attorneys can provide you with the necessary information you need to help you make an informed decision on how you want to proceed with recovering the compensation your injuries entitle you to. Bear in mind that some accident cases are more complex than others, so it is in your best interest to have a New Orleans, LA accident attorney working beside you each step of the way. If you would like to speak with a lawyer now or get a consultation scheduled, call 504-593-9600 today.