Impairment suspected in Livingston Parish motorcycle crash (Update)

Staff Writer
Gonzales Weekly Citizen

UPDATE – Upon receiving toxicology results from the Louisiana State Police Crime Lab, it has been determined that 29 year old St. Amant resident Michael A. Skinner was NOT impaired at the time of the crash. Therefore, impairment on his part was NOT a factor in the crash as had previously been released. Furthermore, after an extensive investigation by Troopers and based off of evidence at the scene and video surveillance in the area, it has been determined that Skinner was wearing a helmet at the time of the crash.

French Settlement Shortly after 10 a.m. on Aug. 2, 2013, Troopers from Louisiana State Police Troop A began investigating a two vehicle fatal crash involving a motorcycle that occurred on LA Hwy 22 south of LA Hwy 16 in Livingston Parish. The crash took the life of 29 year old St. Amant resident Michael A. Skinner.

The initial investigation by State Police revealed that the crash occurred as Skinner was riding a 2004 Yamaha motorcycle southbound on LA 22. At the same time, 19 year old Ashley Petho of Maurepas was driving a 2006 Saturn Vue southbound on LA 22. Skinner attempted to pass the Saturn in a no-passing zone at the same time that Petho was attempting to make a left hand turn off of LA 22. Skinner's Yamaha struck the driver's side of Petho's Saturn, and Skinner was ejected from his motorcycle.

Skinner was not wearing a safety helmet and suffered fatal injuries from the crash. Impairment on his part is suspected, and Troopers have submitted a toxicology sample from him to the Louisiana State Police Crime Lab for analysis. Petho was properly restrained and suffered only minor injuries in the crash.