Troopers investigating possible driver distraction in fatal crash

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St. Martin Parish- A two vehicle crash on LA Highway 70 north of Stephensville, in lower St. Martin Parish, has claimed the life of a Sulphur man.
 
At 6:30 this morning, 24 year old Charles Parker III was driving a 2003 Land Rover south on LA Highway 70.  A 2006 International 18-wheeler, driven by 50 year old Michael Smith of Morgan City, was traveling north on LA Highway 70 approaching Parker.  For reasons still under investigation, Parker crossed the centerline and struck the left side of Smith’s vehicle.  Parker was unrestrained and was pronounced dead at the scene.  Smith was restrained and was treated at the scene for minor injuries.
 
Troopers are also investigating the possibility that Parker was distracted by his cell phone prior to the crash.   

It is unknown if impairment was a factor in the crash; however, routine toxicology samples have been obtained and will be submitted to the State Police Crime Lab for analysis. 

This crash remains under investigation.
 
Distractions and lack of seat belt use can be a deadly combination for drivers.  Troopers strongly encourage drivers to reduce all distractions when behind the wheel.  Writing, reading or sending any text based communication from a cell phone or other wireless device is illegal for all drivers in Louisiana.

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