Grant Parish, La. (WNTZ) – On September 16, 2022, at approximately 12:15 a.m., Louisiana State Police Troop E responded to a fatal crash on U.S. Highway 71 near Rock Hill. This crash claimed the life of 23-year-old Hunter L. Hayes.

The initial investigation revealed a 2004 Ford F-150, driven by Hayes, was traveling south on U.S. Highway 71. For reasons still under investigation, Hayes’ vehicle traveled off the roadway, down the ditch embankment, before impacting several trees. This action ejected Hayes from the vehicle.

Hayes, who’s restraint usage is unknown, sustained fatal injuries and was pronounced dead. A toxicology sample was obtained and submitted for analysis. This crash remains under investigation.

While not all crashes are survivable, proper use of seat belts can greatly decrease an occupant’s chance of death and may greatly reduce the extent of injury. Always ensuring every occupant is properly restrained can often mean the difference between life and death.

In 2022, Troop E has investigated 34 fatal crashes, resulting in 36 deaths.