St. Landry Parish – On March 2, 2018, shortly before 6:00 pm, Troopers with Troop I were notified of a three-vehicle fatality crash on LA 10 near Ollie Street. The crash took the life of 73 year old Mary Chapman of Eunice.
The preliminary investigation revealed a 2008 Hyundai Sonata operated by 74 year old Stanley Nepveaux of Crowley was traveling west on LA 10. The Sonata slowed suddenly for an unknown vehicle stopped in the roadway. A 2016 Freightliner box truck operated by 44 year old Dewayne Turner of Lafayette was traveling too close behind the Sonata and swerved to the left in an attempt to avoid striking the Sonata. The Freightliner struck the rear left of the Sonata and crossed into the eastbound lane, striking a 2007 Chevrolet Trailblazer operated by 67 year old Mildred Philips of Eunice.
Chapman was a rear passenger in the Trailblazer. She was wearing a seat belt, but sustained fatal injuries as a result of the crash. Chapman was pronounced deceased on scene by the St. Landry Parish Coroner’s Office. Philips and another passenger were also restrained, but sustained critical injuries and were transported to local hospitals for treatment. Turner and Nepveaux were both properly restrained and were not injured.
Impairment is not suspected to be a factor in the crash. Turner and Nepveaux voluntarily submitted to chemical tests, and neither were impaired. Troopers are attempting to obtain a toxicology test on Philips at the hospital, but impairment on her part is not suspected. Turner was cited for Following Too Close. This crash remains under investigation.
Drivers can effectively reduce the chances of being involved in a crash by ensuring that while behind the wheel of a vehicle you remain focused solely on the task of driving. Heed all posted speed limits and remain focused on the roadway at all times. While not all crashes are survivable, making good choices while traveling such as never driving while impaired, always ensuring every occupant is properly restrained, and avoiding all distractions can greatly increase your chances of surviving a crash.