Crash on Interstate 10: Lake Charles Woman Dies in Suspected Drowsy Driving Tragedy
Let this story be a reminder that if you are ever feeling tired or sleepy behind the wheel, please pull over.
Shortly after midnight, Louisiana State Police troopers responded to a horrible scene on Interstate 10 eastbound near mile post 114 between Breaux Bridge and Henderson in St. Martin Parish. A Ford Fusion had struck a guardrail on the right side of the interstate, causing damage to the passenger door. But, what's much worse, is that 25-year-old Karalan Hayes of Lake Charles was in the passenger's seat and eventually died at the hospital from her injuries.
Investigators say Austin Lee of Lake Charles was driving along I-10 when investigators believe driver fatigue may have become a factor as he went off the roadway and into the guardrail. A toxicology sample was taken from Lee for analysis but troopers do not believe impairment was a factor. He has been cited for careless operation. Lee suffered only minor injuries.
The boy with them was not injured.
Everyone was restrained at the time of the crash, which is still being investigated.
State Police want to leave you with this message as troopers just want you to be as safe as possible while out on the roads:
Louisiana State Troopers wish to remind motorists to never driving while fatigued. If you find yourself sleepy behind the wheel, strategies such as pulling off the road to take a short nap or drinking a caffeinated beverage may help. For more information on the dangers associated with drowsy driving and how to combat the issue please visit https://www.nhtsa.gov/risky-driving/drowsy-driving
Troop I has investigated 36 fatal crashes resulting in 41 deaths in 2022.