KINDER, La. (KPLC) - A fatal car accident Monday afternoon left one high school senior dead just two weeks before graduation.
Three high school teens were traveling northbound on La. 383 when the driver lost control of the vehicle.
The crash claimed the life of 18-year-old Alijah J. Droddy of Kinder.
The accident happened just south of Village Cemetery Road, according to State Trooper Derek Senegal, spokesman for Troop D.
The preliminary investigation revealed a 2002 Dodge pickup truck, driven by 18-year-old Hunter Joseph Pelican of Kinder, was traveling north on La. 383 at a high rate of speed.
The Dodge ran off the right side of the roadway and struck a mailbox before traveling back onto the roadway and striking another mailbox on the opposite side of the road. The Dodge rolled over several times before coming to rest on the side of the roadway.
“Impaired driving and no seat belt use was a part of that,” Senegal said.
Pelican, Droddy, and a third occupant were not wearing seat belts at the time of the crash and were ejected from the vehicle.
Droddy sustained fatal injuries and was pronounced dead at the scene. Pelican sustained moderate injuries, and the other passenger sustained life-threatening injuries. Both were transported to a Lake Charles area hospital by Air Med for treatment.
Senegal said Pelican remains hospitalized and has been charged with vehicular homicide, reckless operation, first degree vehicular negligent injuring, and no seat belt.
“It’s like one of those things you never kind of expect to happen to you. You hear of these stories, but you just never really think it’s going to happen,” said Kinder High senior Joshua Aviles.
Aviles said that along with many other students, he is still trying to process this tragedy.
“It effects you a lot because you see this person in your class everyday or you see them in the hallway at least, and now you just realize that you won’t be able to see them anymore,” said Raven Tumwar, a fellow senior at Kinder High School. “It would have been nice to graduate with everybody’s but, you know, that can’t happen.”
Tumwar said this will be a tough time for everyone in the town, especially with graduation around the corner.
The Allen Parish School Board released the following statement:
Three Kinder High School Seniors were involved in an auto accident Monday afternoon. in which one student lost his life. Our hearts are hurting for the families of these students, the senior class, as well as Kinder High students and faculty. We would like to extend our condolences and prayers to all involved in this terrible tragedy. Allen parish has provided our crisis team consisting of counselors and other professionals from our district in order to help the students and faculty through this difficult time. Please join u in keeping the Kinder Community, especially the students and their families that were involved in your prayers at this time.