Lake Charles woman dies after car strikes guardrail; driver cited for careless operation

(Pixabay via MGN)
Published: Sep. 21, 2022 at 2:18 PM CDT
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St. Martin Parish, La. (KPLC) - A Lake Charles woman died after the car she was riding in crashed into a guardrail on I-10 between Breaux Bridge and Henderson, police say.

Karalan Hayes, 25, of Lake Charles died from injuries in the crash.

Hayes was a passenger in a 2011 Ford Fusion traveling east on I-10 just after midnight Wednesday, said Thomas Gossen of Louisiana State Police Troop I. The car, driven by Austin Lee of Lake Charles, struck a guardrail on the right side of the interstate near mile post 114, crushing the passenger side of the vehicle.

Hayes was brought to an area hospital, where she later died, Gossen said. Lee had minor injuries, and a child passenger was not injured.

The driver and both passengers were wearing seat belts, Gossen said.

Austin Lee was cited for careless operation, Gossen said. Investigators believe driver fatigue may have been a factor.

A toxicology sample was submitted for analysis, but impairment is not suspected, Gossen said. The investigation is ongoing.

Troop I reminds drivers to avoid driving while fatigued. NHTSA has drowsy driving resources HERE.