Three-Vehicle Fatality Crash Claims the Life of Carencro Man

Published: 02-02-2024 | Category: Troop I

Carencro On February 2, 2024, shortly after 6:00 a.m., Louisiana State Police Troop I was notified of a three-vehicle fatal crash on Interstate 49, just south of North University Avenue, in Lafayette Parish. The crash claimed the life of 58-year-old Artie Gunnells of Carencro.   


The preliminary investigation revealed Markayla Johnson, of Lafayette, was traveling north on I-49 while driving a 2019 Kia Optima in the right lane. At the same time, a 2022 Jeep Wagoneer was also traveling north on I-49 in the left lane. For reasons still under investigation, the Kia crossed the centerline and struck the side of the Jeep. Following the collision, the Kia traveled off the roadway to the left, across the center median, and entered into the southbound lanes of I-49 before striking a 2023 Honda Ridgeline, driven by Gunnells, head-on. 


Gunnells, who was properly restrained, suffered fatal injuries and died at the scene. Johnson and a juvenile passenger were not properly restrained, and both suffered serious injuries. The driver of the Jeep was properly restrained and suffered minor injuries.   


A standardized toxicology sample was collected from both Johnson and Gunnells to be submitted for analysis. The driver of the Jeep provided a voluntary breath sample, indicating no alcohol was present, and the driver showed no signs of impairment.  


Charges are pending as this crash remains under investigation. 


Safe driving is paramount for the safety of yourself and others on the roadway. Always obey speed limits and follow traffic rules to minimize the risk of crashes. Avoid distractions like texting or using your phone and never drink or consume drugs and drive. Lastly, child restraint use is paramount in keeping kids safe in a crash. For information on child restraint laws and how to get free education on properly installing child seats, please visit:


Troop I has investigated 3 fatal crashes resulting in 3 deaths in 2024. 


Contact Information: 

S/T Thomas Gossen                

Louisiana State Police
Troop I Public Affairs

Office: (337) 262-5880