Driver impairment suspected in St. Helena fatal crash
POSTED: Monday, May 14, 2012 - 12:15pm
UPDATED: Monday, May 14, 2012 - 12:19pm
ST. HELENA, LA — Louisiana State Police Troop L began investigating a single vehicle fatal crash in the early morning on Saturday, May 12, shortly after 2:00 a.m. on LA 1042 in St. Helena Parish. The crash took place west of Greensburg and took the life of the suspected impaired and unrestrained driver, April Rock, 36, of Pine Grove, La.
Preliminary investigation revealed that the crash occurred as Rock was traveling east on LA 1042 in a 1996 Ford F-250 pickup truck when, for unknown reasons, the vehicle drifted off road to the right. As the Ford pickup left the roadway, Rock overcorrected to the left causing the truck to cross both eastbound and westbound lanes of LA 1042 before running off road on the north side of the highway. Upon leaving the road for the second time, the Ford pickup struck several large trees with its front end before coming to rest facing a northerly direction.
Rock was not wearing a seatbelt when the crash occurred and was pronounced dead at the scene by the St. Helena Parish Coroner’s Office. Troopers suspect that Rock was impaired at the time of the crash and obtained a blood sample for toxicology analysis at the Louisiana State Police Crime Lab.
The lack of proper seatbelt use combined with impaired, distracted, or reckless driving, often creates a fatal combination in motor vehicle crashes. Whether impaired through alcohol, drugs, or a combination of the two, the consequences of driving while impaired remain the same. Driver impairment and lack of seat belt use continues to be contributing factors in a large majority of fatal crashes across the nation and our state. By taking precautionary steps including never driving while distracted or impaired and always wearing a seatbelt, motorists can substantially reduce their risk of being involved and/or injured in a crash.