Log Truck Driver Killed After Slamming Brakes To Avoid Motoristby Jana Ritter - Published: 2/22/2017
The careless driving of a motorist resulted in the senseless death of a truck driver hauling logs on a highway near Franklinton, LA. The truck driver was forced to slam on the brakes to avoid a collision, which caused the logs he was hauling to crash through the cab of his truck and instantly kill him.
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Louisiana State Police identified the truck driver as 30-year-old Christopher Rex Blansett of Sumrall, Mississippi. The incident occurred at around 3 p.m. on February 20 when he was simply doing his job, hauling logs eastbound on LA 10. He came up behind a 2004 Ford explorer driven by Bogalusa resident, 36-year-old April Bertoniere. She was also heading eastbound but driving slowly and straddled partially on the shoulder of the highway and partially in the eastbound lane.
Police say that as Blansett approached Bertoniere’s vehicle, he moved into the westbound lane in an attempt to pass her. However, police say that shortly after Blansett entered the westbound lane, Bertoniere made an abrupt decision to turn left from where she was on the right shoulder and cut across both lanes to enter a private driveway on the westbound side of the highway. Bertoniere’s careless move caused her to nearly crash into Blansett’s truck and it was Blansett who attempted to avoid the collision by slamming on his brakes. Although his quick response did prevent the potential crash, the force of the sudden stop caused his load of logs to shift forward and push through the cab of his tractor. Tragically, the logs caused him fatal injuries and he was pronounced dead at the scene. Bertoniere's vehicle was not hit and she was not injured.
Trooper Dustin Dwight said Bertoniere provided troopers with a voluntary breath sample and it showed no signs of alcohol. A routine blood sample was also obtained from the deceased truck driver and has been sent to the State Police crime laboratory for analysis. However, Dwight said alcohol was not suspected to be a factor in the accident. There hasn’t been any mention of whether or not investigators are looking into how secure the logs were fastened to the truck. Either way, it was the carelessness of another driver that ultimately cost Blansett his life. While it’s not known if Bertoniere will face any charges, Dwight said that the crash is still under investigation and any violations of Louisiana Law will be forwarded to the Washington Parish District Attorney's Office for prosecution.
“Safe decisions remain one of the most important factors in protecting yourself from being involved in a crash,” said Dwight. “The decisions you make could not only affect you, but others as well. Speed, carelessness, impairment, and distractions are all the product of poor decisions behind the wheel. Please, speak to your loved ones about the importance of safe decisions. The conversation you have today could be all the difference tomorrow.”