POSTED: Wednesday, February 22, 2012 - 12:00pm
UPDATED: Wednesday, February 22, 2012 - 3:55pm
ST AMANT, LA — Louisiana State Police Troop A is investigating a fatal crash that claimed the life of two children on LA 935 (Stringer Bridge Road) shortly before 10:00 p.m. The crash occurred when the driver ran off the road into the bayou that is adjacent to the roadway.
Troopers’ preliminary investigation revealed that Raelyn Encalade, 28, of St. Amant was driving a 2003 Mercury Sable west on LA 935 when she entered a right-hand curve and ran off the road to the left.
The vehicle began to rotate clockwise as it traveled down the bayou embankment before entering the bayou.
There were four children in the vehicle along with the driver at the time of the crash. Encalade and two of the children (females, ages 9 and 6) were able to get themselves free from the vehicle and swim to safety with the help of a Good Samaritan.
Faith Encalade, 9, and Patience Encalade, 7, were trapped in the vehicle for an extended period of time.
Three Ascension Parish Sheriff’s Deputies who arrived on the scene within minutes of the crash jumped into the bayou in an attempt to save the children, but were unable to get into the vehicle.
Volunteer firefighters from the St. Amant area also attempted to help.
They remained in the frigid water and continued their attempts for over thirty minutes until rescue divers took over. The rescue divers were eventually able to pull the two children from the vehicle, but neither of the children survived.
Troopers do not suspect impairment to have been a factor in this crash. However, a sample of Raelyn Encalade’s blood has been submitted to the Louisiana State Police Crime Lab for chemical analysis. The crash remains under investigation, and no charges have been filed.