Authorities say that a teenager thought he hit a mailbox while out delivering pizzas earlier this month. Police say that the young man was checking his GPS when the accident occurred around 8:20 in the evening. Authorities say that the teen continued on his way, fearing that his job would be in jeopardy if he took the time while on the clock to notify the owner that he had struck the mailbox. Police say that the teen had planned on returning later to speak with the mailbox owner.
Tragically, a 57-year-old woman was struck and killed that evening in what authorities are calling a hit-and-run accident. Law enforcement opened an investigation after the August 16 accident was reported. Police say that the teen returned to the scene later and spoke with investigators. He is now accused of felony negligent homicide over the accident allegations.
Homicide generally is a medical and legal term of art. Many may believe that the word is tantamount to murder, but legally it is not. Although not a murder charge, a person accused of negligent homicide in Louisiana can still face significant penalties if convicted of the offense.
In the recent investigation police say that they did not take the young man into custody immediately after the alleged offense pending further investigation. Authorities do not believe that the teen was driving under the influence when the accident occurred.
The teen faces up to five years in prison if convicted of the most serious charge. Authorities also accuse him of hit and run. He was processed last week at the East Baton Rouge Parish Prison and later released on $10,000 bond, according to The Advocate.
Source: The Advocate, "Distracted pizza delivery man booked in fatal pedestrian crash," Jim Mustian, Aug. 24, 2013