Unrestrained Driver Killed in Single-Vehicle Crash, Impairment Suspecte

Staff reports

Louisiana State Police Troop A investigated a single vehicle fatal crash last night on LA 73 north of LA 621 in Prairieville.  The crash occurred on LA 73 north of LA 621 shortly after 10:00 pm and claimed the life of the unrestrained driver, Julie Ann Ray (W/F, age 43) of Prairieville.

Troopers’ preliminary investigation revealed that Ray was driving a 2000 Nissan Frontier south on LA 73 when she ran off the road to the right.  Ray re-entered the roadway, crossed the center line into the northbound lane, and then over-corrected to the right.  The vehicle began to rotate clockwise and overturned, ejecting Ray.  She sustained critical injuries and was taken to Our Lady of the Lake Hospital, where she later succumbed to her injuries.

Troopers suspect alcohol to have been a factor in the crash, but were unable to submit a sample of Ray’s blood to the Louisiana State Police Crime Lab due to the extent of her injuries.

Troopers remind motorists of the importance of making good decisions while, and before, driving.  There is never a good reason to get behind the wheel of a vehicle impaired and there are simply too many alternatives.  While fatal crashes across our state have steadily decreased over the past several years, Troopers witness firsthand the remarkable difference the use of a seatbelt makes in reducing injuries and fatalities in crashes.  Wearing a seat belt is the single most effective decision a driver or passenger can make to protect themselves in a crash.  Last year across the state, over half of the fatal crashes involved impaired drivers, lack of seat belt use, or both.