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Belle Rose – Shortly after 1:00 p.m. Tuesday afternoon, Troopers with Troop C began investigating a two-vehicle fatal crash on LA 1 just north of LA 998. The crash took the life of 52-year-old Terri Ganel.
The preliminary investigation revealed Ganel was traveling south on LA 1 in a 2006 Hyundai Elantra. For unknown reasons, Ganel crossed the centerline and northbound lane while in a right curve in the highway. Her vehicle then struck a 2016 Jeep Wagoneer that was stopped on the northbound shoulder of LA 1. It was being operated by 58-year-old Gail Rainey of Donaldsonville. Ganel was unrestrained at the time of the crash and suffered critical injuries. She was transported to Prevost Memorial Hospital by Acadian Ambulance Service where she died from her injuries. Rainey was also unrestrained and suffered minor injuries. She was transported to St. Elizabeth Hospital by Acadian Ambulance Service.
Alcohol or drug involvement is unknown on the part of Ganel and a standard toxicology report is pending. Rainey submitted a breath test which showed no alcohol present.
Troopers want to remind motorists of the importance of making safe driving decisions behind the wheel. Distractions, impairment, and fatigued driving continue to be factors in preventable crashes. While not all crashes are survivable, proper use of seat belts can greatly decrease an occupant’s chance of death and may greatly reduce the extent of injury. Louisiana law requires every vehicle occupant, front seat and back seat, to be properly restrained day or night.