The Louisiana State Police say that former NFL wide receiver Michael Jackson was traveling at an excessive speed on his Kawasaki motorcycle when he crashed into a vehicle during the early morning hours of May 12. The 48-year-old football veteran and 20-year-old woman operating the vehicle were killed in the accident. The LSP say that they have yet to conclude their investigation and that blood samples have been collected from the accident victims and sent to an area crime laboratory for analysis.
The accident took place on U.S. Route 51 south of the Village of Tangipahoa at approximately 1 a.m. Jackson served as mayor of the village between 2009 and 2013. Police say that Jackson was proceeding northbound on U.S. 51 at a high rate of speed when a Chevrolet Malibu sedan backed out of a parking lot and across both lanes of the roadway directly in front of his motorcycle.
Both Jackson and the Kentwood woman behind the wheel of the Chevrolet were killed when the motorcycle penetrated that car's passenger cabin after striking its driver's side door. Jackson was wearing a safety helmet at the time of the crash, according to reports. Jackson, who played eight seasons in the NFL after being drafted by the Browns in 1991, was a college teammate of Hall of Famer Brett Favre and led the league in touchdown receptions in 1996.
When pursuing wrongful death lawsuits, personal injury attorneys may study police reports and accident investigations closely. Arguments of contributory negligence are sometimes made in these cases, and attorneys may call on experts when police reports suggest that motorcyclists were speeding, intoxicated or not wearing helmets at the time of their deaths. Doctors or crash investigators may counter by explaining to juries that these factors had little influence on the events in question.