Troopers Investigate Double Fatality Crash, Lack of Restraint Use a Factor
CONCORDIA PARISH, La (WNTZ) – On August 13, 2020, shortly before 9:00 p.m., Troopers from Louisiana State Police Troop E began investigating a two-vehicle, fatal crash on U.S. Highway 84 west of Jonesville. This crash took the lives of 52-year-old Melvin Washington of Ferriday and 29-year-old Heather R. Rein of Vidalia. Washington and Rein were not wearing a seat belt.
The initial investigation revealed a 2001 Chevrolet Tahoe, driven by Washington, was traveling eastbound on U.S. Highway 84. For reasons still under investigation, Washington crossed over the center line and struck a westbound 2016 Jeep Wrangler, driven by Rein, head-on.
Washington was pronounced dead on the scene. There were two adult passengers, in the Chevrolet, at the time of the crash. They were not restrained, received serious to moderate injuries, and were transported to a local hospital for treatment.
Rein was transported to a local hospital where she was pronounced dead. There was a restrained juvenile passenger, in the Jeep, at the time of the crash. The juvenile sustained moderate injuries and was transported to a hospital in Baton Rouge for treatment.
Toxicology samples were obtained and submitted for analysis. This crash remains under investigation.
Louisiana State Police would like to take this opportunity to remind/inform motorists that properly wearing your seat belt is one of the most important decisions that a motorist can make. While not all crashes are survivable, proper use of seat belts can greatly decrease an occupant’s chance of death and may also reduce the extent of injury. Always ensuring every occupant is properly restrained can often mean the difference between life and death.
In 2020, Troop E Troopers have investigated 34 fatal crashes resulting in 41 fatalities.