2008/9 Holiday Period Costly on Louisiana's Highways - 22 Die in 12 Days
Statewide Traffic Fatality Rates Down In 2008 From 2007
South Bayou Roads Remain Most Deadly in Louisiana
Lack of Seat Belt Use And Alcohol-Impaired Driving Are Persistent Problems
Improving Own Driving Habits Is Best Way To Stay Alive
Twenty-two traffic fatalities resulting from twenty accidents during the recent 12-day Christmas and New Years holiday period saddened the season for many Louisianans. These figures are compiled from news releases of the Louisiana State Police and other law enforcement agencies around the state, and may not reflect all traffic fatalities that actually occurred in the state during this time.
Christmas weekend was particularly gruesome as eleven people died in ten wrecks in four days between December 24 and December 27, with a single wreck on I-10 near LaPlace on Christmas Day killing three people, including two small children.
During the New Year's holiday between December 31 and January 4, nine people were killed in eight wrecks. Two deaths occurred in the early hours of January 1.
For the year 2008, 547 traffic-related deaths were reported on Louisiana's highways. The comparable total for 2007 was 613. The 2008 total represents a 11% decrease from 2007. By Louisiana State Police Troop Areas, the totals are - Troop A (Baton Rouge Metro) 90; Troop B (New Orleans Metro) 40; Troop C (South Bayou) 62; Troop D (SW Louisiana) 29; Troop E (Central LA) 73; Troop F (NE Louisiana)52; Troop G (NW Louisiana) 50; Troop I (Acadiana) 78; Troop L (North Shore) 73. Traffic deaths reported by Baton Rouge PD, East Baton Rouge SO, Livingston Parish SO, Zachary PD, New Orleans PD (incomplete reporting), Jefferson Parish SO, Lafourche SO, Bossier City PD, Shreveport PD, Lafayette PD and Slidell PD totaling 40 are included in these figures. Reports from Alexandria, Lake Charles and Monroe law enforcement, and various small town law enforcement agencies throughout the state remain inaccessible on the Internet, so these totals necessarily are not all-inclusive of all traffic fatalities that occurred in Louisiana during 2008.
The South Bayou area, including Lafourche and Terrebonne Parishes, remains the most dangerous area of the state in terms of traffic fatality rates. The area reported 62 traffic deaths in 2008, up 11% in a year when fatalities reported around the state went down. Fatality rates based on both highway miles and population are more than twice the statewide averages. Similarly, the North Shore area had a bad 2008, with 73 traffic deaths, up 13% from the total reported in 2007, and above statewide average rates. Traffic fatalities declined in the metro Baton Rouge area, but remain above statewide average rates based on both highway miles and population. Significant declines were seen in SW Louisiana, Acadiana and the New Orleans Metro area, although the latter may be due to missing reporting by the New Orleans Police Department for most of 2008.
More complete reporting resulted in Northwest Louisiana's reported traffic deaths increasing by more than 250% to 50 in 2008. This increase implies that there were many traffic deaths in this area of the state that were not included in the 2007 figures, making the actual statewide decrease from year to year even greater.
May and June were the most costly months, with 55 and 68 traffic deaths reported, respectively. The fewest traffic deaths were reported in July and August, 29 in each month.
As has been highlighted many times in LSP news releases, lack of seat belt use and alcohol/narcotics-impairment are critical factors in fatal accidents. Out of 436 fatal accidents, 161 (37%) involved lack of seat belt use and 93 (21%) involved alcohol or drug use. Motorcyclists, ATV riders and bicyclists remain at high risk. 44 fatal accidents involved one of these kinds of vehicles. Pedestrians are no match for motorized vehicles. 40 fatal accidents killed at least one pedestrian. Large tractor trailers add danger to the road because of both their large size and their high fates of speed and long braking distances. 38 fatal accidents in Louisiana during 2008 involved an 18-wheeler. Driving habits also play a significant role. Speed was cited as a contributing factor in at least 22 fatal accidents. I suspect that the actual total is much higher, as so many 1-car accidents involve the vehicle "leaving the road for unknown reasons". Drivers often want to blame "the other guy" for bad driving, but more than half (58%) of reported fatal accidents involved just one vehicle. Improving one's own driving habits is the best way to reduce the likelihood of being involved in a fatal accident - wearing seat belts, driving unimpaired, slowing down, keeping safe following distance, watching out for pedestrians, obeying traffic signals, etc.
November 18 - Sorry for the long interruption between posts. The traffic death story on Louisiana's highways has not improved. In fact, November is shaping up to be the most deadly month since June.
Traffic deaths reported by the Louisiana State Police and various other law enforcement agencies around the state totalled 40 in both September and October, an increase of about 50% from the rate seen in July and August. The North Shore area was particularly dangerous in these two months, with 21 traffic fatalities reported. This area now ranks third in the state for traffic fatalities both by population and by mileage (it was fourth in both categories in 2007). Overall, the south Bayou area (Houma and Thibodaux and surroundings) remains the most dangerous in the state by both benchmarks.
In November, the Baton Rouge metro area and central Louisiana (Alexandria and surrounding parishes) have reported seven traffic deaths each. I'm particularly concerned about November in that 31 traffic fatalities have already been recorded in 17 days. This would project to 55 for the month without considering the extra traffic that can be expected over the Thanksgiving holiday.
Non-use of seat belts, alcohol-impaired driving, motorcyclists and pedestrians continue to stand out as key factors in traffic fatalities. If all drivers would drive only while sober, wear their seat belts, and watch closely for motorcyclists and pedestrians, many fatalities could be avoided. Motorcyclists could help their chances of surviving an accident by wearing a DOT-approved helmet.
September 11 - July and August's reported traffic deaths in Louisiana were at less than half the pace demonstrated in May and June. In July 28 people died in 26 accidents; in August 26 people died in 24 accidents. So far through 10 days of September, five people have died in five accidents. Perhaps Hurricane Gustav kept some people off the roads and made other stop at non-functioning traffic signals.
All fatal traffic accidents are tragically sad, but perhaps the saddest in August resulted in the death of Lafourche Parish sheriff's deputy Martha Woods Shareef, who was run over in a parking lot while responding to a reported burglary.
Troop A responded to the most costly accident in July when an out-of-control dump truck caused a wreck on I-12 in East Baton Rouge Parish that killed three innocent people, a father, mother and 7-year-old daughter. Another child, the family's four-year-old daughter, was critically injured as well as orphaned in the crash.
This despite the Troop C area (southern Bayou) reducing its traffic death toll from 16 in May to 2 in June. The rest of the state more than made up the difference, with 15 deaths in Troop E's area (Alexandria area); 14 in Troop I's (Lafayette); 13 in Troop A's (Baton Rouge area - though most of these occurred in the rural parishes); 9 in Troop L's (Northshore); and 7 in Troop F (Monroe area). Troop G's area (Shreveport) recorded its first two traffic fatalities of the year in June.
Through 26 days, July looks considerably better with 18 fatalities resulting from 18 accidents. Speculation in Florida, where I've been for the last week, is that high gas prices are keeping people off the roads. I'm hoping that Louisiana's law enforcement officers and drivers responded to the record carnage of June with more patrols and safer driving in July.
June 3 - At least 53 people died on Louisiana's highways during May, by far the deadliest month so far in 2008. The total surpasses the previously monthly high of 38 set in March. A total of 43 accidents claimed the lives, of which eight resulted in multiple fatalities.
As noted previously, Louisiana State Police Troop C's jurisdiction, which includes Lafourche, Terrebonne and part of St. John Parish has been the most dangerous area of the state. Ten accidents there in May killed 16 people, including three juveniles. This death toll exceeded by 33% the previous record for an area in a month (Troop A with 12 in February). It also exceeded the death toll in the historically dangerous Troop C area for the rest of 2008.
If a serial killer were taking people out at such a pace in this predominantly rural area, the entire consciousness of the populace would be occupied in stopping the carnage.
May 14 - Killing or saddening mothers across the state, Mother's Day weekend resulted in 15 traffic fatalities on Louisiana's highways in ten separate accidents. Three other fatal accidents, each claiming a life, happened on Thursday, May 8.
The deathtrap under LSP Troop C's jurisdiction in south Louisiana (Lafourche and Terrebonne Parishes) snuffed out nine lives in six accidents over the weekend. Friday afternoon, a two-car wreck claimed the life of an 18-year-old woman. On Saturday, a collision between two motorcycles, driven by a man and his wife, killed the woman. Alcohol is suspected to be a contributing factor, and both riders were wearing novelty helmets rather than DOT-approved helmets. A second accident on Saturday, this one a head-on crash on treacherous LA 308 (site of four fatal accidents in Lafourche Parish in the last three weeks), killed a 32-year-old woman and two of her three children, ages 10 and 8. A 13-year-old daughter survived to face the horror of losing almost her entire family. The children were not wearing seat belts at the time of the crash. A Sunday one-car crash in Terrebone Parish killed a 23-year-old driver, who was also not wearing a seat belt. A head-on crash on LA 1 involving a diesel truck resulted in a fire that killed two men. A 22-year-old passenger was killed in one last wreck, this one on LA 57 near Ashland.
The Troop C area continues as the most dangerous section of the state. Per number of highway miles, the bayou area's fatality rate is more than three times the state average and more than 45 times the rate for safest area, that of Troop G in northwest Louisiana. Per population, the Troop C area's fatality rate is more than double the state average and more than 20 times that of Troop G.
In just the first 11 days of May, 22 people have been killed in 15 fatal accidents. As the desk sergeant used to say on Hill Street Blues, "Let's be careful out there!"
April 23 - It's been another couple of rough weeks for traffic fatalities on Louisiana's highways. Since April 7, fourteen people have been killed in fourteen incidents ranging from cars going off the road and flipping to a 30-year-old male rescue firefighter being killed while responding to a previous wreck. Another 19-year-old female victim survived a wreck only to be killed when her disabled vehicle was struck and knocked into her. If you are involved in a wreck please be extra careful while outside your vehicle at the accident scene. This may be hard to do in the trauma of the original accident, but could save your life as many drivers are travelling too fast to react to a unforeseen roadside situation.
April 8 Update - The last three weeks have been anything but quiet on Louisiana's highway. The wail you may have heard on Sunday came from nearby Prairieville, home of two teenage boys killed in an accident just after midnight on the I-10 service road at Picardy Ave in Baton Rouge. Their vehicle, a Mazda 626 entering the service road from Picardy toward I-10 South and home, was rear-ended by a speeding pickup driven by a 56-year old Georgia resident. The blood alcohol level of the pickup's driver was later measured at 0.128, well above Louisiana limit of 0.08 for DWI. Two boys, 13- and 15-year-old best friends, were taken with serious injuries from the crash site to a local hospital where they were later pronounced dead. Here's a link to the Baton Rouge Advocate's news story on the wreck and the victims. Perhaps now some attention will be paid to this dangerous stretch of road, which I've been concerned about since last year.
Overall, April 6 was an ugly day on Louisiana's highways, as four people were killed in three wrecks. April's gotten off to a bad start with nine fatalities in seven days. For the year, I've counted 101 accidents causing 114 deaths. As hideous as all this sounds, with every fatality being a mind-numbing tragedy for family members and other loved ones of the victim, the pace of Louisiana traffic fatalities as reported by LSP and other large jurisdictions (BRPD, NOPD in particular) is down significantly from 2007. At the current pace, fewer than 450 people will die on Louisiana's highways under these jurisdicitions, compared to more than 600 in 2007. I hope the difference of more than 25% is due to safer driving rather than to spottier reporting.
March 17 Update - New Orleans and the surrounding area accounted for all the traffic fatalities in an otherwise blessedly quiet week. Between March 8 and 15, NOPD investigated three fatal accidents that each killed one person. On March 16, Troop B responded to a three-car wreck on I-10 near LaPlace that killed an 8-year-old girl and injured ten other people. In the rest of the state, no fatal accidents have been reported since March 8. The five-stay stretch between March 10 and 14 was the longest without a fatal accident statewide since I started following this subject last year.
March 6 Update - TFC Dardar of Troop C reports that they investigated 52 fatal accidents that resulted in 65 deaths in 2007. This is nine more than I counted based on Troop C news releases. The extra nine fatalities brings my state total for 2007 to 659.
2008 continues to be a very tough year in the Troop A's area--metro Baton Rouge. State Police have investigated accidents that have killed 21 people. Baton Rouge and Livingston Police Departments add three more for an overall total of 24.
Statewide, the Troop C area (Southeast Bayou - Terrebonne, Lafourche, Assumption Parishes and parts of St. James and St. John Parishes) has suffered 10 traffic fatalities thus far in 2008, maintaining its unenviable position as the most dangerous area of the state, on both deaths per highway mile and deaths per population basis. The Troop C area's rate of 0.43 fatalities /100 miles is more than three times the state average of 0.14. On a population basis, the Troop C area's rate of 0.38 fatalities per 10,000 population is twice as high as the state average. Close behind in both categories is metro-Baton Rouge (Troop A's jurisdiction) at 2.8 times the state average on a highway mile basis and 1.65 times the state average on a population basis. Troop F's area has logged 11 fatalities so far in 2008. Statewide, 82 people have been killed in 2008 traffic accidents, seemingly horrific, but a rate that would project to less than 500 for the whole year, at least 150 fewer than I counted for 2007. I can't say for sure if the decrease is due to better driving or holes in my recordkeeping--I pray the former.
February 24 Update - LSP reported seven traffic deaths on a hideous Friday, February 22. Five happened in Troop A's jurisdiction--three in one St. James Parish head-on collision. Just two hours earlier in Ascension Parish, a one-car accident killed a 51-year-old man. Another St. James crash resulted in the fifth fatality . Troop D responded to two separate single-car accidents in Beauregard Parish, each of which killed a 40-something male driver.
Traffic fatalities within the Troop A area (Baton Rouge and surrounding parishes) now total a depressing 20 for 2008, far more than any other area of Louisiana and 20% higher than 2007's deadly pace for the area. This despite increased patrolling along I-10 and and I-12 that has helped hold the death toll on these major thoroughfares in the Baton Rouge area to one. Fifteen of the 20 fatalities have occurred in the parishes surrounding Baton Rouge.
On a positive note, both Troop B and Troop G have yet to report their first fatality, though NOPD has responded to two inside the city. This trend continues NW Louisiana's state-leading performance of 2007, and represents a significant improvement in the New Orleans area traffic fatality rate, assuming there's not some reporting gap.
The vehicle pictured was involved in a fatal accident in St. Rose, LA on May 31, 2007 in which two teenage girls were killed. Remind your teenagers (and yourselves) to buckle up, to not drink and drive, and about the dangers of excessive speed.
February 1 Update - Troop A's public information officer told me that the Troop investigated 100 fatal accidents in 2007 that caused 112 deaths. This was 37 more deaths than I counted from the individual news releases. I plan to contact Troops B and C and ask for the same information.
I started a new spreadsheet for 2008. Through January, I counted 29 deaths in 25 accidents. The Baton Rouge area has been the most dangerous with Troop A investigating 7 fatalities and the Baton Rouge Police Department one more (an 8-year old boy).
January 18 Update - I continue to collect stats about 2007. This week I learned that Troop I hadn't posted news releases on their website for part of the year because of a computer malfunction. My records show Troop I responding to 29 fatal accidents that caused 33 deaths. The Troop I public affairs officer told me that the troop responded to 88 fatal accidents causing 100 deaths. The additional 67 deaths from Troop I brings my recorded total for 2007 to 613. This total may double count as many as seven Troop I-area deaths that I got from news reports.
Here's a link to the updated spreadsheet:
Please let me know if you can't see the spreadsheet by using this link. I'm not sure if I'm using Google Docs correctly to allow open access to this information.
The additional deaths reported by Troop I also changed the danger rankings of the various parts of the state. I calculated two statistics - deaths per 100 miles of roadway (taken from the Louisiana State Police website) and deaths per 10,000 population (from U.S. Census 2006 population estimates for Louisiana parishes). I combined local and state police jurisdictions where appropriate - I added Troop A and Baton Rouge Police Department fatality figures; Troop B and New Orleans and Slidell Police Departments figures ; and Troop G and Shreveport Police Department figures.
Based on road miles, Troop C's area (which I call the Southeast Bayou) is the most dangerous in the state. This area includes Terrebonne, Lafourche, Assumption and parts of St. John the Baptist and St. James Parishes. The area has only 2,322 miles of roads (by comparison, Troop F's area in NE Louisiana has over 10,000 miles of roads), but still suffered 56 traffic fatalities in 2007. Its fatality rate of 2.41 per 100 roadway miles was 134% above the statewide average of 1.03 and almost 11 times higher than the Troop G area's (NW Louisiana) rate of 0.22.
In descending order, the remaining areas' danger rates based on roadway miles are: Troop A (metro Baton Rouge) 1.75; Troop B (metro New Orleans) 1.57; Troop I (Acadiana) 1.25; Troop L (North Shore) 1.23; Troop E (Central LA) 0.97; Troop D (SW LA) 0.75; Troop F (NE LA) 0.53; Troop G (NW LA) 0.22.
The most dangerous area based on deaths per 10,000 population was Troop E's (Central LA) at 2.51. In descending order the other areas are Troop C (SE Bayou) 2.14; Troop I (Acadiana) 1.64; Troop F (NE LA) and Troop L (North Shore) at 1.63; SW LA at 1.44; Metro Baton Rouge at 1.38; Metro New Orleans at 0.86; and NW LA at 0.51.
By average ranking from most to least dangerous - SE Bayou; Acadiana/Central LA (tie); North Shore/Metro BR (tie); Metro NO; NE LA; SW LA; NW LA.
I plan to contact Public Affairs Officers for other LSP Troops to get updated stats for 2007. I'll update the averages and rankings based on any new information. I expect that Troops A, B, C, G and L will have 10-20% additional deaths to report, which would add 20 to 40 deaths to the overall total.
January 4 Update - The New Year's holiday period fulfilled its deadly potential as the Louisiana State Police reported seven fatalities in seven separate accidents between December 28 and January 1. December 27 proved even more dangerous as three people died in three incidents.
December 27 was a tough day for non-motorists. An 85-year old bicyclist was struck by a car and killed in Baton Rouge. On LA 12 in Calcasieu Parish, a 52-year old male pedestrian was struck and killed while walking along a dark road at night. The other fatality on December 27 occurred in Pointe Coupee parish in a 2-car wreck that killed a 26-year-old man.
Two people died in traffic accidents on December 28. A 65-year-old women not wearing a seat belt was killed on LA 478 in a one-car accident. Later the same day, a 20-year-old man was killed in a similar accident.
December 29 claimed three lives, the first two in Rapides Parish wrecks that occurred just 5 hours apart. At 3:39 a.m. a 21-year-old female passenger was killed in a wreck with an 18-wheeler. She was not wearing a seat belt. At 8:58 a.m. an 89-year old man was killed in a 1-car wreck. He too was not wearing a seat belt. A third one-car wreck at 11:00 in Folsom killed a 23-year-old when the car caught fire.
New Year's Day was deadly for two motorists. A 38-year-old female died in a Tangipahoa Parish accident on LA 1094. She was not wearing a seat belt. In Lafource Parish, a 2-car accident killed a 49-year-old woman.
A positive sign is that alcohol was not reported initially to be involved in any of the fatal wrecks. One wreck happened at 2:10 a.m. on New Year's Day.
Five of the seven victims were not wearing seat belts. Please wear yours. It could save your life.
December 28 Update - The Christmas holiday period is behind us and the even more dangerous New Year's weekend has just begun. Here are some traffic fatality stats from the Christmas weekend and a wish for a fatality-free New Year's celebration.
Between December 21 and December 25, the Louisiana State Police responded to six fatal accidents causing seven deaths. This is the same number of fatal accidents and traffic deaths reported during the recent 5-day Thanksgiving weekend period.
Troop A responded to a Christmas Day wreck in West Baton Rouge Parish at the intersection of LA 1 and LA 3237 where a 47-year old male died when his vehicle collided with an 18-wheeler. The victim was not wearing a seat belt.
Troop C responded to a two-car accident on LA 3235 in Galliano, LA on December 23. Again a car and 18-wheeler collided. Both driver and passenger in the car, 20 and 24-year-old males respectively, were killed. Neither was wearing a seat belt.
Troop E responded to two fatal accidents during the period. The first happened on December 21 in Natchitoches Parish. Two cars collided head-on. The 49-year-old female victim was not wearing a seat belt.
The second accident in Troop E's jurisdiction happened on Christmas Day in Sabine Parish on LA 175. A 16-year-old male driver died when his car went off the road and struck a tree. He was not wearing a seat belt.
Three other fatal accidents were responded to by Troop L. One on December 22 took place in St. Tammany Parish on LA 36. A 18-year-old male passenger was killed in a one-car wreck where the driver was cited for DUI and vehicular homicide.
On December 23 at twilight, a 60-year-old male bicyclist was struck and killed by a hit-and-run driver on US 11 in St. Tammany Parish.
And just an hour later, a 67-year-old male was killed in a 2-car accident on US 190 in Tangipahoa Parish. Alcohol was involved in this crash.
The already-upon-us New Year's weekend, which runs from today through Tuesday, January 1, is even more dangerous than Christmas because of the likelihood that people will be drinking and driving as they celebrate the end of 2007 and beginning of 2008. If you drink away from home, designate a sober driver or call a taxi to get home. If you don't have to leave home, just party there and stay off the roads. Look at the pyramid of hazard, particularly for those in south Louisiana. Overall, Louisiana is one of the most dangerous states to drive in; south Louisiana is by far the most dangerous half of the state. The overnight hours between 10 p.m. and 3 a.m. are the most dangerous. And more people will be drinking and driving than usual because of the holiday. Do you want to pit your life and your family's future against those odds? Party at home. Stay overnight at the party or at a hotel you can walk to. Invite your friends to party with you and to stay the night. If you have to go home, take a taxi or designate a sober driver. Wear your seat belt and be extra observant of the driving habits of others, particularly at intersections and around curves.
Have a Safe and Happy New Year's celebration and a great 2008!
December 10 Update - Using police records and news reports, I've been assembling a spreadsheet of traffic fatalities on Louisiana's highways in 2007. Through December 10, the count is a grisly 496, suffered in 439 wrecks involving 626 vehicles.
As bad as this sounds, it's almost certainly an undercount, given that more than 900 Louisiana motorists were killed in traffic accidents in 2006, a total that was exceeded at least the last three years.
I lack data from Louisiana's small cities and parish sheriff departments, which don't publish data or news releases on the Internet. I expect that fatalities investigated by these jurisdictions make up most or all of the difference.
Still, the available data for 2007 shows some interesting patterns. State Police Troop C's territory (Louisiana SE Bayou country - Terrebone, Lafourche and Assumption Parishes primarily) is the most dangerous in the state (39% worse than second place Troop A (East Baton Rouge and surroundings); and almost 13 times more dangerous than NW Louisiana. Troop B's area (metro New Orleans) is close behind in third place. All 24 hours of the day are dangerous, with the hours between midnight and 3 a.m. being most so, given the number of cars on the road. By 4 a.m. the drunks are off the road or already dead, and the morning drunks haven't emerged yet.
All of this piles on top of Louisiana being of the three most dangerous states in the country, with a fatality rate 50% above the national average. Please, please stay off the road in bayou country after midnight. But if you have to, don't drink and drive and do wear your seat belt. Thanks!
LSP - Holiday Weekend Traffic Deaths Hold at 7; I-10 Reopened
November 26 - There are two pieces of good news to report. First, the holiday weekend ended without any more traffic fatalities being reported by LSP, NOPD, BRPD or Shreveport Police Department. The five-day holiday period ended with seven traffic fatalities reported in these jurisdictions, in line with data I've collected for 2007, and below the 2005 and 2006 rates of more than two fatalities per day for the entire state. The 2007 figures continue a positive downward trend for the Thanksgiving holiday period. LSP reported 17 fatalities during the period in 2005, nine in 2006 and six this year. (The seventh for 2007 was reported by NOPD.)
The second good news story is that I-10 has reopened across the Louisiana after almost 50 miles were closed for 10 days due to a natural gas well fire. During this period, I-10 traffic was rerouted along I-49, US 190, LA 415 and I-110 to Baton Rouge and to US 90 to New Orleans. Although State Police responded to more than 100 accidents along these highways in the ten days, most were minor and none resulted in a fatality.
November 25 - I don't know how LSP troopers face responding to fatal car crashes. I have trouble enough typing about them.
Friday was an expensive day as three people died in two crashes. The first occurred in Grant Parish when a Mercury Grand Marquis went off US 165 into a small group of trees, killing the 93-year-old driver and his 88-year-old passenger. A second 81-year-old passenger received critical injuries. The 88-year-old was not wearing a seat belt. The Grant Parish Coroner is investigating the cause of death.
Late Friday evening a one-car crash killed a 29-year-old man in Franklin Parish. He ran off LA 471. The car overturned and caught fire. The victim was not wearing a seat belt.
This brings the total number of fatalities reported by LSP and NOPD over the holiday weekend so far to seven. No fatalities have been reported by BRPD. Reports from other Louisiana police jurisdictions are unavailable on line.
November 24 - LSP responded to one fatal crash on Thanksgiving Day. Troop L reported a one-car crash in St. Helena Parish at 10:40 p.m on Thursday that claimed the life of a 32-year old male. The driver was not wearing a seat belt. Alcohol impairment is suspected. Baton Rouge and New Orleans Police Departments did not report any traffic fatalities on Thanksgiving Day.
November 22 - During the first day of the extended Thanksgiving holiday weekend, the Louisiana State Police (LSP) responded to two fatal crashes. The New Orleans Police Department (NOPD) responded to one fatal crash.
The New Orleans crash happened at 8:00 a.m. Wednesday at North Broad and Thayer Streets. A 56-year-old driver left the roadway, struck a barrier and went into the Sewerage and Water Board's discharge pit.
The first accident reported by LSP happened at 2:37 p.m. on Wednesday in Franklin Parish (Troop F), where a 78-year-old man from Winn, LA died in a one-car accident on LA Highway 4. The driver ran off the road and struck a culvert. He was pronounced dead at Franklin Parish Medical Center.
The second happened in a similar accident at 9:32 pm in Livingston Parish, where Troop A reports that a 47-year-old man from Holden, LA died in a one-car accident on LA Highway 441. Again, the driver ran off the road and struck a culvert. He was not wearing a seat belt. Alcohol is suspected as a contributing factor. The driver was transported to Wood Hospital in Amite, LA, where he was later pronounced dead by the hospital staff.
So far there are no reports posted by LSP, NOPD or Baton Rouge Police Department of traffic deaths on Thanksgiving Day. Also on the good news side, there have been no reports of fatal accidents on US 190 between Opelousas and Baton Rouge, a section of road that has experienced an exceptionally level of traffic since the parallel segment of I-10 between Baton Rouge and Lafayette has been shut down for almost two weeks due to the explosion and repair of a natural gas well just 100 yards from the highway near Ramah, Louisiana.