State police investigate fatality on Highway 171


The strip of U.S. 171 through Moss Bluff is no stranger to car accidents. Now, this intersection of U.S. 171 and You Winn Road is the setting of yet another accident turned fatal.
You Winn Road is the end of the Duane Dalton Memorial Highway, named for the Louisiana State Trooper who was killed there in an accident in 2010.
Two years later, another accident near Old Town Road claimed the life of a trucker. 
Now, 55-year-old Pamela Jean Benniefiel has become the latest accident victim. The accident happened Sunday, around 9:11 p.m.
"Shortly after 9 o'clock, officers responded to a fatal crash on 171 near You Winn Road," said Sgt. James Anderson of the Louisiana State Police. "Apparently, there was a pedestrian who was crossing the street. She was struck by a northbound vehicle in the outside lane of travel and unfortunately, she sustained fatal injuries at the scene."
Donald Richmond has been sitting near You Winn Road and U.S. 171 for 12 years, peddling watermelons. He sits at the perfect vantage point for observing traffic. 
"I see a lot of people going too fast," Richmond said. "When people try to turn into these businesses, they dang near hit them. They have their blinkers on and they won't slow down whatsoever."
Richmond said at issue is a combination of speed and haste.
"People just don't have the patience" Richmond said. "They get in too big a hurry, especially when it's raining ... they don't slow down when it's raining." 
Anderson said pedestrians and drivers must use caution.
"Pedestrians need to be visible. They need to wear light colored materials, reflective materials. They need to carry a flashlight. It's also important that drivers of vehicles be alert for changing road conditions as well as people who may be on the roadway," Anderson said. 
The accident is still under investigation.
No charges have been filed.
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