ST TAMMANY PARISH, LA — This morning, Saturday, May 26, at approximately 2:30 a.m., Louisiana State Police Troop L investigated a fatal crash on US 190, two miles west of LA 1077.
Preliminary investigation revealed that a 2009 Chevrolet Cobalt, driven by Paul Becnel Jr., 28, of Covington, was traveling east on US 190 and for unknown reasons ran off the road to the right. The Cobalt then struck a utility pole and a tree with its right side, causing the vehicle to flip, and finally coming to rest on its roof.
Becnel was pronounced dead on the scene. He was not wearing a seat belt at the time of the crash and driver impairment is unknown. Toxicology results are pending an autopsy.
Currently, Louisiana State Police is participating in the nationwide "Click It or Ticket" campaign. The single most effective thing you can do to increase your chances of surviving a violent crash is to buckle up. The primary function of a seatbelt is to prevent ejection and to spread the forces of a crash over a wider part of the body to reduce injuries and fatalities. Last year, over 60% of fatal crashes across the state involved unrestrained drivers and occupants. Troopers strongly urge motorists to buckle up each and every time they get into a vehicle. State law requires ALL occupants to be properly restrained, regardless of seating position.