UPDATE: On January 7, 2020, Troop I was notified by hospital personnel that a second person has succumbed to his injuries following the January 5th crash. The driver of the Chevrolet Avalanche has been identified as 45-year-old Richard Mayeux of Westlake. Despite having worn his seat belt, Mayeux ultimately suffered fatal injuries and was pronounced deceased on January 5th at a local hospital.
Prairie Ronde – Shortly after 12:15 p.m. on January 5, 2020, Troopers from Louisiana State Police Troop I began investigating a two-vehicle crash on LA Hwy 103 at McGuffy Road in St. Landry Parish. The crash took the life of 57-year-old Stephanie Soileau of Ville Platte.
The initial investigation by State Police revealed that the crash occurred as Soileau was driving North on LA 103, in a 2014 Nissan Maxima, when she failed to negotiate a curve and crossed the centerline. After doing so, her vehicle struck a southbound 2005 Chevrolet Avalanche.
Soileau was restrained at the time of the crash. She was transported to a local hospital in critical condition where she ultimately succumbed to her injuries. The driver of the Avalanche was properly restrained and was transported to a local hospital with serious injuries. Impairment is unknown but standard toxicology samples were obtained from both drivers. This crash remains under investigation.
This marks the first fatality crash of 2020 for LSP Troop I.
Louisiana State Troopers wish to remind motorists that making good choices while in motor vehicles such as observing all traffic laws, never driving while impaired or distracted, and always ensuring every occupant is properly restrained can often mean the difference between life and death.