Luling man has narrow escape from traffic death

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, February 28, 2001


BOUTTE – A Luling man narrowly escaped death when an 18-wheeler ran a red light and pulled into his path on U.S. Highway 90 Friday morning, according to Louisiana State Police. Trooper Robert Vittitoe, who handled the accident, commented of the Luling man, “He’s very, very lucky.” Vittitoe reported that at 10:30 a.m., Herbert Dean, of 507 Terry Lane, was westbound on U.S. 90, approaching the Interstate 310 intersection.. He was driving a Ford Tempo belonging to his daughter, Teresa, an LSU freshman. Southbound on I-310, Wallace Carr of New Orleans was hauling a load of containers. The trooper, who handled the accident, said that Carr was unable to stop successfully as he approached the red light, veered to the far right of the downward-sloping ramp to evade a car in front of him, and tried to make a left turn toward Boutte. At that point, Dean slammed into the trailer. His airbag deployed and smashed into Dean’s face, giving him a black eye and facial bruises. Carr sustained having his left arm broken in four places. Both were transported to St. Charles Parish Hospital for treatment. Vittitoe added that Carr had to be cut out of the overturned cab of his truck, while Dean was able to walk away from the Ford. Moments later, EMT Ryan Brown arrived. Brown, Dean’s nephew, quickly took charge of his uncle’s immediate care. Meanwhle, traffic was snarled for four hours in the area. Dean commented later, “All I saw was the center of that trailer. The instant I saw it, I thought, I’m going under it.'” Instead, the impact of the Ford, together with the weight shift from the left-turning trailer, overturned the trailer. “The airbag saved me, and I had my belt on,” Dean continued. He climbed from his vehicle and a passing motorist “grabbed me and told me to sit down.” Minutes later, Dean’s nephew arrived. Carr was cited by Vittitoe with reckless operation of a motor vehicle.