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Texas trucker charged in deadly Louisiana crash

A Grand Prairie, Texas, man recently turned himself in to police after being charged in connection to the Dec. 3 Port Barre, Louisiana, semi-truck accident involving a school bus that left a 5-year-old child dead and 20 children plus one adult injured.

The 52-year-old truck driver, who was let free on $36,000 bond, was charged with one count of negligent homicide and 21 counts of vehicular negligent injuring. A District Court Judge set bail as follows: $15,000 for the negligent homicide count and $1,000 each for the remaining charges.

A court date is not yet set for the case and will depend on how crowded the docket is. The trucker's arraignment date has also not yet been set. The arraignment is when the trucker will formally enter a plea in response to the charges.

The trucker's toxicology report results have not been reported, which means it is unknown if he was under the influence of a mood-altering substance. However, the accident report listed that the trucker was being an "inattentive" driver and he was cited for careless operation of a motor vehicle.

In addition to a criminal lawsuit, the trucker could also face civil lawsuits brought by the people injured in the crash or the family of the child killed. A personal injury suit allows victims involved in the crash to pursue compensation for the damages that they have suffered. Some of the possible recoverable damages could include monetary damages such as medical costs and lost wages, and non-nonmonetary damages such as pain and suffering.

In personal injury lawsuits involving semi-truck accidents like this one, the victims seek to prove that the accident was caused by negligence or wrongful acts of another party, including the truck driver or the driver's employer.

Source: "Texas trucker released on bond in fatal Port Barre school bus wreck," Paul South, 1 Mar 2011.

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