On February 12, 2012, at 4:05 a.m., troopers assigned to Louisiana State Police Troop D responded to a two-vehicle crash on Interstate Highway 10 near U.S. Highway 165 east of Iowa in Jefferson Davis Parish that claimed the life of a Lake Charles man.
The preliminary investigation revealed that a 2008 Volkswagen driven by 27-year-old Joshua Henry Payne of Lake Charles was traveling east on I-10 in the right lane when he ran into the rear of an 18-wheeler driven by 23-year-old Ali M. Yasuf of Columbus, OH at a high rate of speed. The vehicle Payne was driving was severely damaged and became lodged under the trailer of the 18-wheeler.
Payne, who was alone in his vehicle at the time of the crash, was pronounced dead at the scene. Yasuf was not injured.
Impairment and excessive speed on the part of Payne are suspected to be factors in the crash. Toxicology samples were obtained from both drivers and will be submitted to the Louisiana State Police Crime Lab for analysis. The crash remains under investigation.
Last year, Louisiana State Police Troop D investigated 18 fatal crashes resulting in 20 fatalities. An impaired driver was responsible for half of the deaths in those crashes. Individuals should never get behind the wheel if they are impaired and should either stay where they are or call someone who is sober to pick them up.
Higher speeds mean less time for drivers to react to traffic conditions and road hazards. Speed limits are in place to help keep motorists safe. Never drive at a speed that is unsafe for prevailing conditions. Drive safely and arrive alive.
Troop D has investigated 7 fatal crashes so far in 2012, resulting in 8 fatalities.