POSTED: Monday, April 23, 2012 - 10:15am
UPDATED: Monday, April 23, 2012 - 10:19am
HOLDEN, LA — Louisiana State Police Troop A investigated a crash involving a drunk driver last night, Sunday, April 22, that claimed the life of a Hammond man and injured his passenger. The crash occurred on LA 441 south of US 190 in Livingston Parish shortly after 7:00 p.m.
Troopers’ investigation revealed that Manual Garcia, 32, of Walker was driving a 2007 Chevrolet pickup north on LA 441 when he rear-ended a 2006 Honda Civic. The Civic was forced off the roadway to the right, began to rotate, and struck a tree.
The driver of the Civic, Dean Albares, 54, of Hammond, suffered fatal injuries in the crash. He was pronounced deceased on the scene by the Livingston Parish Coroner’s Office.
Lori Histand, 32, of Hammond was riding in the passenger seat when the crash occurred. She sustained non-life-threatening injuries and was transported to a local hospital for treatment.
Immediately after the crash occurred, Garcia continued approximately one quarter mile north on LA 441, where he was apprehended by a Livingston Parish Deputy. Garcia was obviously impaired and was placed under arrest.
Troopers investigated the crash and took Garcia into custody. He provided a breath sample to Troopers, which showed that his blood alcohol content was more than double the legal limit. Garcia was booked into the Livingston Parish Prison on charges of DWI, reckless operation of a vehicle, hit and run, vehicular homicide, and vehicular negligent injuring. If found guilty on all the above charges, Garcia faces over thirty years in prison.
Troopers strongly urge motorists to make good decisions BEFORE getting behind the wheel of a vehicle. There is never a good reason to drive impaired, and there are too many alternatives available to make such a foolish decision. Impaired driving accounted for nearly half the fatal crashes investigated across the state last year. While the number of deaths and injuries caused by drunk drivers has decreased over the past few years, it is still a problem. Troopers have partnered with local, state, and federal agencies to combat this serious problem through education and enforcement. With the help of the motoring public, we can continue to see the instances of drinking and driving decrease. If you see a roadway hazard or a possibly impaired driver, you can contact State Police immediately by dialing *577 (*LSP) from a cellular phone. This number will dial the nearest Troop in the state.