Single vehicle crash in Ascension takes life of unrestrained driver

Staff Writer
Gonzales Weekly Citizen

Saturday evening shortly after 10:30 p.m., Troopers from Louisiana State Police Troop A began investigating a single vehicle fatal crash on Interstate 10 in Ascension Parish. The crash took place in the eastbound lanes of I-10 approximately two miles east of the LA 42 / Highland Road exit and resulted in the death of the unrestrained driver and moderate injuries for the unrestrained passenger.

Troopers' investigation revealed that the crash occurred as a 2000 Jeep Grand Cherokee, driven by Taslein Whitney (B/F age 36 of Baton Rouge), was traveling eastbound on Interstate 10. As the Jeep SUV continued eastbound, its left side tires drifted off road to the left resulting in Whitney steering the vehicle sharply to the right. Upon being overcorrected to the right, the Jeep crossed both eastbound lanes and ran off road to the right impacting a guard rail end at the LA 928 / Bluff Road overpass. After the initial impact, the vehicle continued up an embankment and struck a concrete girder on the underside of the overpass.

Whitney was not wearing a seat belt and was ejected from the vehicle during the course of the crash sustaining fatal injuries. Front seat passenger in the Jeep, 34 year old Bobby Joe Beckham of Baton Rouge, was also not properly restrained and received moderate injuries in the crash. Alcohol use is unknown at this time with a toxicology analysis to be performed at the Louisiana State Police Crime Lab.

Motorists that witness hazardous situations are urged to call *LSP (*577) and report that activity to the Louisiana State Police.