Gonzales teenager dies in Cornerview one-car crash

Wade McIntyre

A Gonzales teenager died Sunday afternoon at the scene of a single-vehicle crash on Cornerview Road (Hwy 429) east of Interstate 10, Louisiana State Police Troop A reported.

Troopers said Eldi Franko, 16, of Gonzales, was driving a 2006 Chevrolet Malibu west on Hwy 429 around 4 p.m. near Boudreaux Road, when she ran off the roadway to the right onto the westbound shoulder.

The vehicle continued past the shoulder, struck a large tree, and began to rotate and roll several times, spokesperson TFC Russell G. Graham II said.

Franco was not wearing a seatbelt and was ejected from the vehicle as it rolled, according to Graham.  She was pronounced deceased on the scene by the Ascension Parish Coroner’s Office.

Troopers do not suspect alcohol to have played a factor in this crash, but have submitted a sample of Franco’s blood to the Louisiana State Police Crime Lab for Chemical Analysis. The crash remains under investigation.

This is the third fatal crash Troop A has investigated this year. In two of the three crashes, an unrestrained occupant was ejected from the vehicle and died because of injuries sustained in the crash.

 “Fatal crashes are hard on everyone involved – family, friends, first responders, and law enforcement,”  said Captain Frank Ducote, Troop A Commander. “It is especially difficult when such a young person is taken away in an instant. Our thoughts are with this young girl’s family today.”

Troopers remind everyone of the importance of seat belt use.  Just the minimal amount of time it takes to buckle up could mean the difference between life and death.