On Sunday November 15, 2020, shortly after 12:00 p.m., Louisiana State Police Troop E responded to a single-vehicle crash on I-49 north of Natchitoches. This crash claimed the life of 77-year-old Carroll J. Thomas of Coushatta, who was not wearing a seat belt.
The initial investigation revealed a 2012 Dodge 3500 pickup, driven by Thomas, was traveling southbound on I-49. For reasons still under investigation, Thomas lost control of his vehicle, exited the roadway, and struck a tree.
Thomas sustained fatal injuries and was pronounced dead at the scene. A toxicology sample was obtained and submitted for analysis. The crash remains under investigation.
While not all crashes are survivable, statistics show that properly wearing your seat belt will dramatically reduce your chance of being injured or killed in a crash. Louisiana law requires that every person in a vehicle, regardless of seating position, always remain buckled up. Not wearing a seat belt remains the leading cause of death in motor vehicle crashes.
In 2020, Troop E Troopers have investigated 43 fatal crashes resulting in 51 fatalities.