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Speed and impairment cited in Calcasieu Parish wrecks

The Louisiana State Police’s Troop D is right here in Calcasieu Parish, but the law enforcement unit is responsible for much more than patrols here. Troop D covers more than 5,000 square miles in five parishes: Allen, Beauregard, Cameron, Jefferson Davis and Calcasieu.

Trooper Derek Senegal with the Louisiana State Police recently told Lake Charles TV station KPLC that Southwest Louisiana already has had nearly as many fatal motor vehicle crashes in 2019 as it did in all of last year. Senegal said two of the biggest contributors to the wrecks are impaired drivers and excess speed.

Troop D’s Senegal also said many traffic crashes involve needless fatalities. “Our first fatality of the year was a single-vehicle crash where a driver ran off the roadway,” Senegal told KPLC. The driver was ejected as the vehicle overturned. “He was not wearing a seatbelt. So many crashes are survivable. If he would have been wearing a seatbelt he would have survived that crash.”

Senegal added that law enforcement agencies typically see more wrecks around the holidays.

“We have Thanksgiving and Christmas to get through, so we don’t want any more fatalities,” he said, adding that troopers “do kind of suspect” that there will be more at this time of year, considering the many needless crashes, injuries and deaths in past holiday seasons.

A couple of simple steps can help everyone stay safer on Calcasieu Parish roads, streets and highways: never drink and drive, do not use your phone while behind the wheel, buckle up and always drive at posted speeds. In that way, we can all improve our chances of avoiding becoming another grim statistic.

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