St. Landry Parish – Shortly after 2:00 pm on May 25, 2018, Troopers from Louisiana State Police Troop I began investigating a fatal crash on Interstate 49 in St. Landry Parish. The crash claimed the life of 24 -year-old, Hannah Lee Vincent of Rayne.
The initial investigation by State Police revealed that the crash occurred as Vincent was operating a 2017 Toyota Camry south on I-49. For unknown reasons, Vincent’s vehicle ran off of the right side of the roadway and struck an unoccupied vehicle parked on the shoulder. After impact, Vincent’s vehicle crossed both southbound lanes, ran off of the left side of the roadway, through the median, and entered I-49 north. As Vincent’s vehicle entered I-49 north, it was struck head-on by an 18-wheeler, operated by 49-year-old Galen Zortman of Bazine, KS.
Vincent was not wearing a seat belt and sustained fatal injuries. She was pronounced deceased on scene by the St. Landry Parish Coroner’s Office. Zortman was wearing a seat belt and sustained minor injuries. He was transported to a local hospital for treatment. A pedestrian standing in front of the unoccupied vehicle and was struck by debris after the crash. The pedestrian sustained moderate injuries and was transported to a local hospital for injuries.
It is unknown if impairment is a factor in the crash. Toxicology samples were obtained and sent to the Louisiana State Police Crime Lab for analysis.
Louisiana State Troopers wish to remind motorists that all occupants of a motor vehicle must be restrained, regardless of seating position. While not all crashes are survivable, statistics show that the chances of surviving a crash rise significantly when properly restrained. Making good choices while in motor vehicles such as never driving while impaired and always ensuring every occupant is properly restrained can often mean the difference between life and death.