Impairment and lack of seat belt use suspected factors in fatal crash

Staff reports

Louisiana State Police Troop A investigated a single-vehicle fatal crash shortly after 2 a.m. on Tuesday morning in Ascension Parish. 

The crash occurred on Hwy. 73 north of Interstate 10 and involved a partial ejection due to the occupant being unrestrained.

Troopers’ preliminary investigation revealed that Carl McKnight, 22 of Gonzales, was driving a 2004 Saturn north on Hwy. 73 north of Interstate 10 when he entered a right-hand curve and ran off the road to the left.

McKnight over-corrected and the vehicle re-entered the roadway and began to rotate clockwise as it crossed the roadway and ran off the road to the right. 

The vehicle then struck a culvert, vaulted into the air, and struck a utility pole. 

McKnight was not restrained when the crash occurred and was partially ejected. 

He was pronounced deceased on the scene by the Ascension Parish Coroner’s Office.

Troopers suspect alcohol to have played a role in the crash and have submitted a sample of McKnight’s blood to the Louisiana State Police Crime Lab for chemical analysis. 

McKnight was the sole occupant in the vehicle at the time of the crash.

This is the 31st fatal crash that Troop A has investigated this year.  In 23 of the 31 fatal crashes, the person killed was not wearing a seat belt.  Troopers see these senseless deaths far too often and will continue to enforce the state’s seat belt laws in an effort to eliminate deaths on our highways. Impairment and lack of seat belt use are common factors in fatal crashes and account for a majority of highway deaths.

Making poor decisions in a vehicle such as driving impaired, riding with an impaired driver, or not wearing a seat belt leads to serious injuries and deaths. Making the responsible decision can mean the difference between life and death.