Unrestrained driver dies in Jefferson Davis Parish crash

The following is a news release from the Louisiana State Police:

Welsh, LA – This morning, at approximately 5:05 a.m., troopers assigned to Louisiana State Police Troop D responded to single-vehicle crash on Louisiana Highway 99 about 7 miles south of Welsh that claimed the life of a Texas man.

Investigating troopers report that a 2012 Chevrolet pick-up truck driven by 54-year-old Gilbert G. Talafuse, Jr. of Houston, TX was traveling south on LA 99 when the vehicle he was driving ran off the road and traveled over 160 feet before striking a mail box, then traveled over 350 additional feet before striking a concrete driveway on the other side of the highway.

Talafuse sustained fatal injuries as a result of the crash and was pronounced dead at the scene by the Jefferson Davis Parish Coroner's Office.  

Excessive speed and driver impairment are suspected to be factors in the crash.  A toxicology sample was obtained from Talafuse and will be submitted to the Louisiana State Police Crime Lab for analysis.  The crash remains under investigation.

In 2011, half of all deaths in fatal crashes investigated by Troop D involved an impaired driver.  Statewide in 2010, 59 percent of vehicle occupants who died in car crashes were not wearing a seat belt.  Louisiana state law requires all vehicle occupants to wear a seat belt.  Wearing a seat belt is the single most effective thing motorists can do to protect themselves in a crash.  Buckle up Louisiana.  Every trip.  Every time.

This is the fifth fatal crash investigated by Troop D in 2012.