BOSSIER PARISH, La. (KSLA) — The driver of an SUV involved in a fatal head-on collision with a van might have been impaired, authorities say.
Melissa Lawrence, 40, of Benton, was killed in the crash shortly before 1:45 a.m. Sunday on Louisiana Highway 162 in Bossier Parish, according to Louisiana State Police.
Preliminary investigation shows 23-year-old Juwan Wells, of Shreveport, was driving a 2014 Mazda SUV west on LA 162 when it crossed the center line as it approached a curve west of Linton Road.
Investigators are working to determine why the SUV crossed into the eastbound lane and collided with a 2010 Dodge Caravan in the oncoming lane, Trooper First Class Brent Hardy said.
Lawrence, who was a passenger in the Dodge Caravan, was pronounced dead at the scene.
Wells and the van’s driver, whose identity has not been released, were properly restrained and were taken to a hospital for treatment of moderate injuries, Hardy said.
Troopers have obtained toxicology samples and submitted them for analysis.
This is the first fatal crash that LSP’s Bossier City-based Troop G has investigated G this year.
“Louisiana State Police would like to remind all motorists that if you feel differently, you drive differently,” says a statement released by LSP.
“Alcohol, prescription drugs and other drugs have many effects on the body that negatively affect driving skills. These drugs can impair visual ability, alter the sense of time and space, impair fine motor skills needed to operate a motor vehicle and decrease reaction times,” the statement continues.
“Motorists are encouraged to plan ahead and designate a sober driver. Not doing so can have deadly consequences.”