Donaldsonville man dies from injuries in Hwy. 44 wreck

Staff reports
An accident involving two cars occurred at the corner of Black Bayou Road and Hwy. 44 on Wednesday morning.

Charles Etienne, 27, of Donaldsonville died at approximately 8 a.m. Saturday morning at Our Lady of the Lake Hospital due to injuries sustained in the two-vehicle collision Wednesday morning, Feb 5, at Hwy. 44 and Bayou Black Road.

Etienne was driving a 2000 Mazda 626 travelling north along Hwy. 44 and passed through the intersection at Black Bayou Road, according to State Police Troopers. Travelling south along Hwy. 44 was a Toyota mini-van, turning left onto Black Bayou.

The minivan struck the car, causing it to hit a utiity pole, wrap around it, then flip onto its roof, Louisiana State Police Troop A spokesman Russell Graham said.

Graham also stated that a passenger in the Mazda, Sharla Etienne, 22, of Donaldsonville, suffered non-life threatening injuries and was released from Baton Rouge General Hospital after treatment.

The driver of the ‘99 Toyota van was Alice Bradley, 57, of Prairieville. Graham said  Bradley has been charged with failure to yield while making a left turn and

the crash remains under investigation. Alcohol is not suspected to have been a factor. 

This is the third fatal crash that Troopers have worked in Ascension in as many weeks. In each instance, an occupant who was not properly restrained was killed due to injuries sustained in the crash. “I cannot stress enough the importance of drivers wearing their seatbelts,” said Graham.

According to State Troopers, the best chance of surviving a violent crash, especially one involving an overturned vehicle, is to be properly restrained.  Seat belt use is on the rise throughout the state, but there is still a long way to go before full compliance with the seat belt law is seen. 

Troopers would like to remind everyone who rides in a vehicle to buckle up.  Louisiana law requires all occupants, regardless of seating position, to buckle upany time they are in a vehicle on a public roadway. Just the few seconds it takes to buckle a seat belt can mean the difference between life and death.

In an effort to continue to increase seat belt use throughout the state, Troopers will continue the practice of combining an aggressive educational program with strict enforcement of the law. 

A minivan attempted a left turn onto Black Bayou Road when it hit an oncoming Toyota.