Unrestrained driver killed in St. James Parish crash

Staff Writer
Gonzales Weekly Citizen

Thusday shortly before 12:30 p.m., Troopers from Louisiana State Police Troop A began investigating a two vehicle fatal crash that occurred on LA 44 north of LA 70 in St. James Parish. The crash took the life of 54 year old Convent resident Suzanne M. Chauvin.

The initial investigation by State Police revealed that the crash occurred as Chauvin was driving a 2011 Nissan Versa south on LA 44. At the same time, 63 year old Leeray Ardoin of Ville Platte was driving a 2006 Peterbilt tractor/trailer north on LA 44. For unknown reasons, Chauvin's Nissan crossed the centerline into the northbound lane and struck Ardoin's Peterbilt head on.

Chauvin, who was not wearing a seatbelt, was partially ejected from the Nissan and sustained fatal injuries from the crash. Ardoin was wearing a seatbelt at the time of the crash and was uninjured. Alcohol use on the part of Chauvin is unknown at this time; however, Troopers have submitted a toxicology sample from Chauvin to the Louisiana State Police Crime Lab for analysis.

Louisiana State Troopers wish to remind motorists of the importance of seatbelt use. Louisiana law requires that every person in a motor vehicle, regardless of seating position, always remain buckled up. Statistics show that the chances of surviving a violent crash rise significantly when properly restrained. Taking the time to buckle up before every trip is the single most effective thing you can do to protect yourself in a crash.