Police: Speeding, suspected impairment contributed to fatal wreck

NATCHITOCHES, LA (KSLA) - Speeding, suspected impairment and failure to wear a seat belt were factors in the death of a Natchitoches man in a two-vehicle crash Nov. 1, Louisiana state police say.

It happened about 5:40 p.m. Monday on Louisiana Highway 494 at Cedar Grove Drive. That's just southeast of the city of Natchitoches.

A 2012 Dodge Challenger being driven by Elton L. Smith, 38, was eastbound on Hwy. 494 when it collided with the rear of a 2007 Chevrolet Tahoe being driven by Linda H. Madison, 61, of Natchez, authorities say. After the initial collision, the Dodge left the right side of the road and struck a cattle guard and a tree.

Smith was pronounced dead at the scene. Toxicology tests are pending.

Troopers have charged Madison with DWI. She was wearing a seat belt and was not injured, authorities say.

This is the 40th fatal crash investigated this year in state police Troop E. Forty-seven people died in those accidents.

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