Unrestrained driver killed in Vernon Parish crash, impairment suspected

Local News

VERNON PARISH, La. – On June 15, 2021, shortly after 7:30 a.m., Louisiana State Police Troop E responded to a fatal crash on Louisiana Highway 392 east of Louisiana Highway 111. This crash killed 23-year-old Evan J. Gentry, of Hornbeck.

The initial investigation revealed a 2018 GMC Sierra, driven by Gentry, was traveling westbound on Louisiana Highway 392. For reasons still under investigation, Gentry’s vehicle traveled off the highway, struck a utility pole, and several trees before overturning. As a result, Gentry was partially ejected from the vehicle.

Gentry, who was unrestrained, sustained fatal injuries and was pronounced dead. Impairment is a suspected factor of this crash. A toxicology sample was obtained and submitted for analysis. This crash remains under investigation.

Buckling up is the most effective way to protect yourself during a vehicle crash. Failure to take a few seconds to buckle up can have devastating consequences. Louisiana law requires every person in a vehicle, regardless of seating position, to be properly restrained day or night.

Louisiana State Police would like to remind all motorists that if you feel differently, you drive differently. Alcohol, prescription drugs, and other drugs have many effects on the body that negatively affect driving skills. These drugs can impair visual ability, alter the sense of time and space, impair fine motor skills needed to operate a motor vehicle, and decrease reaction times. Motorists are encouraged to plan ahead and designate a sober driver. Not doing so can have deadly consequences.

In 2021, Troop E has investigated 20 fatal crashes resulting in 21 deaths.

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