Driver, passenger killed in crash involving train near Rayville


RAYVILLE, La. (LSP) - Troopers began investigating a crash on May 16 around 4:00 p.m. on Sumlin Ranch Road near Rayville involving a car and a Kansas City Southern train.

The crash took the life of both the driver and passenger of the car.

The initial investigation by State Police revealed the crash occurred as a 2018 Chevrolet Cruze, driven by Shonda Hayes, 48, of Monroe, was traveling west on Sumlin Ranch Road when she failed to yield to the train while crossing the tracks. The train collided with the passenger side of the Chevrolet and caused it to come to rest in the ditch.

Hayes and a passenger, Gary Briggs, 38, of Monroe, were pronounced dead at the scene by the Richland Parish Coroner’s Office. A toxicology sample was obtained and will be submitted for analysis. This crash remains under investigation.

Troopers want to take this time to remind motorists that trains can stop, but they can’t stop quickly. That is why it is very important to look and listen for trains when approaching a railroad crossing and to always yield the right of way to trains.

For more information about rail safety or to request a free safety presentation, please visit the Louisiana Operation Lifesaver web site at

In 2019, Troop F has investigated 14 fatal crashes resulting in 19 deaths.

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