CENTRAL, LA — Louisiana State Police Troop A investigated a two-vehicle crash on LA 3034 (Wax Road) east of Sullivan Road shortly after 6:00 am this morning. Both drivers were injured and a young girl sustained life-threatening injuries.
Troopers’ preliminary investigation revealed that a 1991 Chevrolet pickup, being driven by Richard Fletcher, 41, of Denham Springs, was traveling east on Wax Road when a 1996 Honda Accord pulled into its path. The Accord, being driven by Mary Simmers, 48, of Clinton, was pulling out of the parking lot of Central High School when it was struck by the pickup.
Simmers’ passenger, a 10-year-old female, was riding in the right rear seat when the crash occurred. She sustained life-threatening injuries as a result of the crash. Both drivers and the young girl were transported to Lane Memorial Hospital.
Simmers and her passenger were both restrained and Fletcher was not restrained. Through investigation, Troopers found that the young girl was not properly restrained. The shoulder portion of her seat belt was behind her back and the lap belt had ridden up onto her stomach. Alcohol is not suspected to have been a factor in the crash. Simmons was cited for failure to yield, and the crash remains under investigation
Troopers would like to remind motorists to buckle up every time they get into a vehicle. It is also the responsibility of the driver to ensure that everyone in the vehicle is properly restrained at all times.
Serious injuries and deaths are more likely when young people are not properly restrained in the vehicle. Until the seat belt can properly “fit”, children should ride in an approved child safety seat. Louisiana law requires children to remain in a booster seat until they are 6 years old and weigh 60 pounds. However, they should remain in a booster seat until they can wear a regular seat belt properly. More information regarding Louisiana’s Child Passenger Safety Law can be found on the Louisiana State Police website at http://www.lsp.org/troopachildsafety.html  Troop A also serves as a Child Passenger Safety Fitting Station, where Troopers who are certified Child Passenger Safety Technicians can assist with proper fit and installation of child safety seats into vehicles and provide information to help keep children as safe as possible in vehicles.