Absent serious injury or death, Louisiana law generally prohibits parking or leaving a non-disabled vehicle standing upon the traveled part of the highway, even after a motor vehicle accident. Unfortunately for Lafayette, Louisiana man, 50 year old Alton Ortega, two 18 wheelers involved in an accident on I-10 in Iberville Parish parked their big rigs in the right hand travel lane of the interstate following an accident. According to the Louisiana State Police, around 4:00 a.m on November 6, 2015, Mr. Ortega was traveling on I-10 when he encountered the parked 18 wheelers. He avoided hitting one of the 18 wheelers, but rear-ended the other 18 wheeler. He was pronounced dead on the scene.
Louisiana Revised Statute (La.R.S.) 32:141 provides that no person shall stop, park, or leave standing any vehicle, whether attended or unattended, upon the paved or main traveled part of the highway when it is practicable to stop, park or so leave such vehicle off such part of said highway, unless the vehicle is disabled to the point that it is impossible avoid stopping and temporarily leaving the vehicle in that position. La.R.S. 32:141(C) further provides that between sunset and sunrise, the driver of any vehicle left parked, attended or unattended on any highway shall display appropriate signal lights thereon, sufficient to warn approaching traffic of its presence.
And, contrary to the belief of most drivers involved in a motor vehicle accident, La.R.S. 32:141(D) provides that if the driver is not prevented by injury and the vehicle is not disabled by the accident, or the accident has not resulted in serious injury or death of any person, the driver shall remove the vehicle from the travel lane of the highway to the nearest safe shoulder.