Shortly before 6:00 pm on April 24, 2015, Troopers from Louisiana State Police Troop A began investigating a two vehicle fatality crash that occurred on LA Hwy 42 east of LA Hwy 16 in Livingston Parish. The crash took the life of 21 year old Alyssa M. Swain of Livingston, LA.
The initial investigation by State Police revealed that the crash occurred as Swain was driving a 2002 Pontiac Grand Am eastbound on LA Hwy 42. At the same time, 40 year old James Pankotai of Port Vincent was driving a 1994 Chevrolet pickup westbound on LA Hwy 42. Swain attempted to pass an eastbound vehicle in a no passing zone; however, another vehicle was oncoming. Swain attempted to take an evasive maneuver by re-entering the eastbound lane to avoid the oncoming vehicle. Upon doing so Swain lost control of the Pontiac and it was struck by the westbound Chevrolet driven by Pankotai.
Despite the fact that she was properly restrained Swain suffered fatal injuries as a result of the crash. Impairment on her part is not suspected; however, a toxicology sample was taken from Swain and submitted to the Louisiana State Police Crime Lab for analysis. Pankotai was properly restrained and was uninjured in the crash. Impairment on his part is not suspected.
Troopers urge the public to remain vigilant while driving at all times. Never drive a motor vehicle when impaired or fatigued, and always remain buckled up regardless of seating position. Avoid distracting activities, especially the temptations of electronic devices that can substantially divert a driver’s attention away from the road. Always obey all traffic control devices and be aware of your surroundings at all times.