Lack of headlights, excessive speed cause fatality in crash


ST. JOHN THE BAPTIST PARISH, La. (LSP) - Louisiana State Police Troop B Troopers investigated a serious injury crash Tuesday night around 9:00 p.m. on LA 636-3 (West 2nd Street).

Three individuals were transported to University Medical Center with serious injuries. The passenger in one of the vehicles, James Heard, 59, of LaPlace, later died at the hospital as a result of injuries sustained in the crash.

Troopers’ initial investigation revealed that Larry Eugene, 41, of Reserve, was driving a 2004 Ford Crown Victoria west on LA 636-3 without headlights and at a high rate of speed. A 2006 Chevrolet Silverado, driven by Curtis Edwards, 54, of LaPlace, was traveling east on LA 636-3 and turned left onto Fir Street into the path of the Ford.

The Chevrolet was struck by the Ford on the passenger side. Heard was seated in the front passenger seat of the Chevrolet. Eugene and Edwards both suffered moderate injuries.

Eugene submitted to a blood test and toxicology tests will be performed by the Louisiana State Police Crime Lab. Impairment is not suspected on the part of Edwards. At this time, it is unknown if seat belts were worn. The crash remains under investigation and criminal charges are pending.

Louisiana State Police would like to remind motorists of the importance of headlights. Louisiana law requires headlights to be used during specific times. Those times are defined in Louisiana Revised Statute Title 32:301:

(1) At any time between sunset and sunrise.

(2) When, due to insufficient light or unfavorable atmospheric conditions, persons and vehicles on the highway are not clearly discernible at a distance of five hundred feet ahead.

(3) When moisture in the air or precipitation necessitates the continuous use of windshield wipers.

(4) While driving in a tunnel.

When motorists follow the simple rules of the road, such as using a seat belt properly, driving sober, avoiding distractions and obeying speed limits, they can greatly reduce their chances of being involved in motor vehicle crashes. Crashes are preventable and one bad decision behind the wheel can alter many lives. Please be responsible, follow the laws and drive safely.

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