Ashton – This morning, shortly after 7:30 AM, Louisiana State Police Troop I responded to a single vehicle fatality crash on LA 83 south of US 90 near Baldwin. The crash claimed the life of a two year old child, and the driver was arrested for vehicular homicide.
Preliminary investigation revealed that 27 year old Grace Loustaloot of Franklin was driving a 2005 Ford Expedition southbound on LA 83 and ran off of the right side of the roadway. Loustaloot overcorrected, causing the vehicle to slide across both lanes of travel, enter a ditch and overturn.
Two year old Temperence Finister of Franklin was not properly restrained in a child safety seat at the time of the crash and was ejected from the vehicle. She sustained critical injuries and was transported to Franklin Foundation Hospital, where she was pronounced deceased. Two other juvenile passengers were wearing seat belts and sustained minor injuries. They were transported to a local hospital for treatment. Loustaloot was wearing a seat belt and sustained minor injuries. She was transported to Franklin Foundation Hospital for treatment.
Impairment is considered to be a factor in the crash. Toxicology samples were obtained from Loustaloot and submitted to the Louisiana State Police Crime Lab for analysis. Troopers transported Loustaloot to the St. Mary Parish Jail where she was booked on the following charges: Vehicular homicide, two counts of First degree vehicular negligent injuring, Possession of schedule IV narcotics, No child restraint, Careless operation, and Expired motor vehicle inspection sticker. The crash remains under investigation.
The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends children 2 years old and younger should be properly restrained in a rear facing child restraint. Children 12 years and younger should always ride in the rear seat. Every occupant in a motor vehicle is required by Louisiana law to be properly restrained in a seat belt or child restraint. 96% of child restraints are installed improperly. Every Louisiana State Police Troop is a grant funded fitting station staffed by nationally certified child safety seat technicians. Each fitting station teaches parents/caregivers how to properly install the child restraint and how to properly buckle the child in the restraint. This service is FREE to the public. Please visit www.LSP.org to find out when your local LSP troop conducts child seat checks.
LSP Troop I conducts child seat checks every Wednesday, from 8a-noon at Troop I in Lafayette. No appointment is necessary. Please stop by and see us, you will gain invaluable information that will protect your child in the event you are in a motor vehicle crash.