Kentwood resident charged in fatal crash

Kentwood resident charged in fatal crash

POSTED: Monday, November 12, 2012 - 12:00pm

UPDATED: Monday, November 12, 2012 - 12:04pm

Troopers from Louisiana State Police Troop L investigated a two vehicle fatal crash this morning that took the life of a 70 year old Kentwood motorcyclist, Elmus Welch, and resulted in the arrest of 51 year old Robert Morris also from Kentwood, LA. The crash took place shortly before 10:30 am on LA 38 approximately one mile east of the St. Helena / Tangipahoa Parish line.

Preliminary investigation revealed that the crash occurred as Morris was traveling eastbound on LA 38 in a 2004 Chevrolet pickup truck when he failed to maintain control of the vehicle and ran off road to the right. Upon leaving the roadway, Morris overcorrected to the left causing the pickup truck to rotate counterclockwise, renter the paved roadway, and cross into the westbound lane of LA 38. As the Chevrolet crossed into the oncoming lane, it impacted a 2012 Can-Am motorcycle being driven westbound by Welch.

As a result of the head-on collision, Welch was ejected from the motorcycle and was pronounced dead at the scene by the Tangipahoa Parish Coroner’s Office. Welch was wearing a proper DOT approved helmet at the time of the crash. Impairment is not suspected.

Morris was wearing a seatbelt and was transported to Hood Memorial Hospital in Amite with minor injuries. Investigating Troopers suspect Morris to have been impaired at the time of the crash and booked him into the Tangipahoa Parish Jail on charges of Careless Operation and Vehicular Homicide.

Toxicology analysis for both drivers will be conducted at the Louisiana State Police Crime Lab.

As seen far too often, making poor decisions while behind the wheel of a vehicle including driving while impaired, distracted, or fatigued can lead to life changing consequences. Making the right decision can often mean the difference between life and death.

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