Published: 06-20-2020 | Category: Troop A
Within the span of three hours, Troopers from Louisiana State Police Troop A investigated two separate fatal crashes resulting in four deaths in the Troop A area.
Zachary - The first crash occurred shortly after 11:30 pm on June 19, 2020, on US Hwy 61 south of LA Hwy 964 in East Baton Rouge Parish. The crash claimed the life of 52-year-old Kenneth Cleveland of Gonzales.
The initial investigation revealed the crash occurred as Cleveland was traveling northbound on US Hwy 61 in a 2012 Hyundai Santa Fe. For reasons still under investigation, the Hyundai ran off the roadway to the left. After exiting the roadway, the Hyundai entered a ditch and struck a concrete culvert. After striking the culvert, the Hyundai struck a utility pole bordering the roadway.
Cleveland was unrestrained at the time of the crash and sustained fatal injuries. He was pronounced deceased at the scene. Impairment is suspected, and a toxicology sample was obtained from Cleveland for analysis. This crash remains under investigation.
Maringouin - The second crash occurred shortly after 2:00 am on June 20, 2020, on LA Hwy 411 south of US Hwy 190 in Pointe Coupee Parish. The crash claimed the lives of 50-year-old Christopher Soileau of Zachary, 45-year-old Karen Soileau of Zachary, and 22-year-old Richard Threeton of Maringouin.
The initial investigation revealed the crash occurred as Christopher Soileau and his two passengers, Karen Soileau and Threeton, were traveling westbound on Jack Torres Road in a 2017 Ford F-250. As the Ford approached the intersection of LA Hwy 411, Soileau failed to negotiate a left turn and exited the right side of LA Hwy 411. After exiting the roadway, the Ford struck a tree and became engulfed in flames.
Due to the severity of the fire, seatbelt usage is unknown at this time. All three occupants sustained fatal injuries as a result of the crash and were pronounced deceased on the scene. Impairment is unknown at this time, but an autopsy and toxicology report will be completed by the coroner’s office. This crash remains under investigation.
The difficult assignment of death notification continues to be one of the hardest elements of the Law Enforcement profession. Notification is even more difficult when Troopers know that the outcome was preventable. As summer is upon us, please take a moment to put the safety of you and your loved ones ahead of everything else. Aside from sound decisions behind the wheel, speak to your family and friends about the consequences of impaired driving. Remind them that putting on a seatbelt greatly reduces the chances of being killed or seriously injured in a crash. Speak to them about the dangers of distracted driving. The conversation you have today could be the difference tomorrow.
TFC Taylor J. Scrantz
Louisiana State Police
Public Affairs Section
Office: (225) 754-8524