Single vehicle crash takes life of Covington teen

Single vehicle crash takes life of Covington teen

POSTED: Saturday, April 21, 2012 - 2:30pm

UPDATED: Saturday, April 21, 2012 - 2:34pm

Yesterday evening shortly after 9:00 p.m., Troopers from Louisiana State Police Troop L investigated a single vehicle fatal crash on LA 21 approximately two miles north of LA 1082 in St. Tammany Parish. The crash took the life of the unrestrained driver, Kayla Dearman, 17, of Covington.

Preliminary investigation revealed that the crash occurred as Dearman was traveling south on LA 21 in a 2000 Ford Escort when, for unknown reasons, the vehicle left the paved roadway running off the right side of the highway. As the Ford Escort left the roadway, it entered a ditch where it continued forward for approximately 90 feet before striking a metal culvert and becoming airborne. After striking the culvert, the Escort overturned and rolled several times ejecting Dearman from the vehicle.

Dearman was not wearing a seatbelt at the time of the crash and was initially transported to St. Tammany Parish Hospital in serious condition. Due to the extent of her injuries, she was airlifted to the LSU Trauma Center in New Orleans where she was pronounced dead. At this time, impairment is not suspected pending the results of a toxicology analysis.

While fatal crashes across our state have steadily decreased over the past several years, Troopers witness firsthand the remarkable difference the use of a seatbelt makes in reducing injuries and fatalities in crashes. Wearing a seatbelt is the single most effective decision a driver or passenger can make to protect themselves in a crash.

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