Impairment possible factor in three vehicle fatal crash

Staff Writer
Gonzales Weekly Citizen

On Feb. 1, 2013, shortly after 6 p.m., Troopers from Louisiana State Police Troop A began investigating a three vehicle fatal crash that occurred on LA Hwy 30 south of LA Hwy 3115 in Ascension Parish. The crash took the life of 54 year old Terrytown resident Leonardo Estrella.

The initial investigation by State Police revealed that the crash occurred as 21 year old Blake Dozier of Plaquemine was driving a 2003 GMC Sierra pickup northbound on LA Hwy 30. For unknown reasons, Dozier's Sierra crossed the centerline and struck a southbound 2002 Ford F-150 driven by Estrella head-on. At the same time, 25 year old Joel Leon-Hernandez of Gonzales was driving a 2001 Ford Excursion southbound on LA Hwy 30 directly behind Estrella's F-150. Leon-Hernandez attempted to steer left to avoid the collision ahead of him, and in doing so crossed into the northbound lane and struck Dozier's Sierra on the passenger side.

Despite the fact that he was wearing a seatbelt, Estrella sustained fatal injuries from the crash. Troopers suspect impairment on the part of Dozier to have been a factor in the crash, and have submitted a toxicology sample to the Louisiana State Police Crime Lab for analysis. This crash remains under investigation, and charges may be pending.

Whether impaired through alcohol, drugs, or a combination of the two, the consequences of driving while impaired remain the same. Troopers remind drivers that impaired driving continues to be a major problem throughout Louisiana. Troopers will continue to enforce Louisiana's DWI laws across the state and remain committed to a public education campaign to end impaired driving. Have a plan and designate a driver before you decide to operate a vehicle while impaired.