MONTPELIER, LA — This morning at approximately 12:30 a.m., Louisiana State Police Troop L investigated a one vehicle fatality crash on LA 1036 near its intersection with Pitt’s Road in St. Helena Parish. The crash took the life of Dylan Edler, 18 of Ponchatoula, who was unrestrained at the time of the crash.
Preliminary investigation revealed that the crash occurred as a 2005 Chevrolet Colorado pickup truck, driven by Brandon Hymel, 31, of Concord, NH, was traveling east on LA 1036 when Hymel failed to maneuver a left curve causing the pickup’s right side tires to drift off road to the right.
As the Chevrolet’s tires left the paved roadway, Hymel overcorrected to the left causing the pickup to rotate counterclockwise as it crossed both lanes of LA 1036 and ran off road to the left. Upon leaving the roadway, the pickup struck a culvert causing it to overturn and flip several times before coming to rest on its right side off road on the north side of the roadway.
Front passenger in the Chevrolet pickup, Dylan Edler, was not wearing a seatbelt and was partially ejected during the crash. Edler was pronounced dead at the scene by the St. Helena Parish Coroner’s Office.
Hymel was wearing a seatbelt at the time of the crash and received no injuries. He submitted to a breath alcohol test registering a blood alcohol concentration over the legal limit. Hymel was subsequently booked into the St. Helena Parish Jail charged with Careless Operation, 1st offense DWI, and Vehicular Homicide.
The consequences of drinking and driving can be costly no matter how many drinks you have consumed. Driving while impaired and lack of seat belt use continues to be contributing factors in a large majority of fatal crashes across the nation. 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.
Louisiana State Police would like to remind the public to drive safely and exercise extra patience on the roads this holiday season. Motorists that witness hazardous situations are urged to call *LSP (*577) and report that activity to the Louisiana State Police.