Leesville woman killed in crash - KALB-TV News Channel 5 & CBS 2

Leesville woman killed in crash

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VERNON PARISH, La. (KALB News Channel 5) – Earlier today, a crash involving two vehicles killed a woman from Leesville and injured five others.

Troopers responded to the crash around 12:40 p.m., which occurred on LA Hwy 8 west of US Hwy 171. The crash involved a 2007 Chevrolet Uplander, driven by Hebert N. Lazarus, 39, of Leesville, and a 2000 Chevrolet Tahoe, driven by Stephen Johannes, 56, of DeRidder. The Uplander was westbound on LA Hwy 8 when Lazarus’ vehicle began hydroplaning. He then lost control and crossed the centerline. This action resulted in the Uplander colliding with the eastbound Tahoe.

Lazarus was wearing his seatbelt, but received moderate injuries. He was transported to Byrd Hospital. His only passenger, identified as Tina M. Lewis, 34, was pronounced dead. She was wearing her seatbelt.

Johannes was wearing his seatbelt, but received moderate injuries. He was transported to Byrd Hospital. Joey D. Miller, 33, of DeRidder, Lance E. Mitcham, 50, of Leesville, and Justin A. Stephens, 20, of Leesville were passengers in the Tahoe. All were wearing their seatbelts and were transported to Byrd Hospital with moderate injuries.

Routine toxicology tests are pending. The crash remains under investigation.

While not all crashes are survivable, seatbelts can greatly decrease the occupant’s chance of death and will greatly reduce the extent of injury.

Speeding is one of the most prevalent factors contributing to traffic crashes (NHTSA). Motor vehicle traffic crashes are complex events that are a culmination of various driver, vehicle or environment-related factors. Driver-related factors that contribute to motor vehicle traffic crashes are mostly behavioral in nature. These include impaired driving, aggressive driving (including speeding), and distracted driving. Speeding reduces a driver’s ability to steer safely around curves or objects in the roadway, extends the distance necessary to stop a vehicle, and increases the distance a vehicle travels while the driver reacts to a dangerous situation.

Troop E Troopers have investigated 24 fatal crashes in 2014, resulting in 27 fatalities.

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