POSTED: Sunday, September 16, 2012 - 12:30pm
UPDATED: Sunday, September 16, 2012 - 12:34pm
ST. CHARLES PARISH, LA — On Friday, Sept. 14, shortly after 4:00 a.m., Louisiana State Police Troop B investigated a double fatality crash on I-10 west at mile post 217 that claimed the lives of two Houma, LA men.
Preliminary investigation revealed that a 2004 Honda Accord, driven by Matthew Arceneaux, 29, of Metairie, was traveling west on I-10 in the left lane. For unknown reasons, Arceneaux lost control of the vehicle, struck the left guardrail and began to spin.
The Honda came to rest in the left lane facing on-coming traffic. A 2007 Acterra Sterling tractor/vehicle carrier, driven by Charles Specht, 57, of Pearl River, approached the Honda and stopped in the left lane with hazard lights activated. A 2012 Isuzu 12,000 street sweeper, driven by Earl B. Ross Jr., 39, of Houma, LA, was traveling in the left lane of I-10 west at a high rate of speed and impacted the rear of the vehicle carrier.
The passenger of the street sweeper, Simuel Green III, 41, of Houma, was ejected from the vehicle and pronounced dead on the scene. Ross was also pronounced dead on the scene.
Seat belts were not utilized in the street sweeper by either of the occupants. Impairment is unknown and toxicology results are pending an autopsy. Specht voluntarily submitted to a chemical test and no detectable alcohol was found in his system.
Troopers urge the public to remain vigilant while driving, never drive while fatigued, and avoid distracting activities, especially the temptations of electronic devices that can substantially divert a driver’s attention away from the road. While not all crashes are survivable, seat belts can greatly decrease an occupant’s chance of death and may greatly reduce the extent of injury. Troopers witness firsthand the remarkable difference the use of a seatbelt makes in reducing injuries and fatalities in crashes. Louisiana law requires every vehicle occupant, front seat and back seat, to be properly restrained day or night. Taking the time to buckle up every trip and every time is the single most effective thing you can do to protect yourself in a crash.