High Speed Crash Causes Fatality in St. Bernard Parish

Posted: August 26th, 2016 | Filed under: News Releases

St. Bernard Parish – This morning, shortly after 7:00 am, Louisiana State Police investigated a fatal crash on LA 39 (East Judge Perez), just east of the Violet Bridge.  The crash claimed the life of 21 year old John L. Stafford of Gretna, LA.

Preliminary investigation revealed that a 2005 Dodge Ram, driven by 66 year old Larry Ducote of Chalmette, LA, was stopped on the right shoulder of LA 39 south and merged into the right lane.  Shortly after merging into the lane, the Dodge was struck in the left rear by a 2011 Chevrolet Camaro, driven by Stafford.  The Camaro veered to the left and Stafford overcorrected the Camaro veering back to the right.  The Camaro ran off the roadway and the driver’s side impacted a tree.  The Camaro then caught on fire.  Stafford was pronounced dead on the scene.  Ducote was wearing a seat belt and suffered minor injuries.

Impairment is unknown on the part of Stafford and toxicology results are pending an autopsy.  Troopers do not suspect impairment for Ducote.  Speed is believed to be a factor of the crash and it remains under investigation.

This was the first of two fatal crashes that Troop B investigated in a 45 minute period.  Both crashes involve speeding vehicles.  Nationally, according to NHSTA, speeding is a factor in one-third of all fatal crashes.  Speeding is defined as speed too fast for conditions or in excess of the posted speed limit.  Speed limits are implemented in the best interest of public safety.  Numerous factors are taken into consideration when deciding on a speed limit.  Some of those include lane and shoulder width, vertical alignment, superelevation and curve radius.  Troopers witness firsthand the devastating effects in motor vehicle crashes caused by speeding.  Please be a responsible driver, obey speed limits, drive sober, buckle up and avoid distractions.

Contact Information:

S/T Melissa Matey
State Police – Troop B
Public Affairs Section

Office: (504) 471-2780