Rapides Parish – On November 18, 2020, at approximately 2:30 p.m., Louisiana State Police Troop E responded to a single-vehicle crash on U.S. Highway 165 south of Woodworth. This crash claimed the life of 62-year-old Kathryn R. Smith of Oakdale, who was not wearing a seat belt.
The initial investigation revealed a 2010 Mercury Milan, driven by Smith, was traveling southbound on U.S. Highway 165. For reasons still under investigation, Smith lost control of her vehicle, exited the roadway, and struck a culvert.
As a result, Smith sustained life-threatening injuries and was transported to a local hospital, where she ultimately succumbed to her injuries. A toxicology sample was obtained and submitted for analysis. The crash remains under investigation.
While not all crashes are survivable, statistics show that properly wearing your seat belt will dramatically reduce your chance of being injured or killed in a crash. Louisiana law requires that every person in a vehicle, regardless of seating position, always remain buckled up. Not wearing a seat belt remains the leading cause of death in motor vehicle crashes.
In 2020, Troop E Troopers have investigated 45 fatal crashes resulting in 53 fatalities.