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Troopers suspect driver impairment in Tangipahoa fatal crash

Troopers suspect driver impairment in Tangipahoa fatal crash

POSTED: Friday, March 30, 2012 - 12:00pm

UPDATED: Friday, March 30, 2012 - 12:04pm

Yesterday evening, Thursday, March 29, shortly after 11:00 p.m., Troopers from Louisiana State Police Troop L began investigating a one vehicle fatal crash on LA 40 approximately 1.5 miles west of the Tangipahoa / St. Tammany Parish line. The crash took the life of the unrestrained and suspected impaired driver, Rickey Barnes, 39, of Amite, LA.

Investigating Troopers report that the crash occurred as Barnes was traveling west on LA 40 in a 2008 Ford F-250 pickup truck. For unknown reasons, Barnes failed to maintain control of the vehicle causing the Ford pickup to cross the eastbound lane and run off road to the left. Upon leaving the paved roadway, the Ford pickup entered a ditch on the south side of LA 40 and impacted a large tree with its left front end.

Barnes was not wearing a seatbelt when the crash occurred and was pronounced dead at the scene by the Tangipahoa Parish Coroner’s Office. Troopers suspect that Barnes 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. While crashes are unexpected events, motorists can substantially reduce their risk of being involved and/or injured in a crash by taking precautionary steps including never driving while impaired and always wearing a seatbelt.

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