Two Separate Crashes Claim Three lives in St. Martin and Evangeline Parishes
St. Martin Parish– Shortly after 6:30 p.m., on October 23, 2022, Troopers from Louisiana State Police Troop I responded to a two-vehicle crash on Louisiana Highway 70 south of Stephensville Elementary School in St. Martin Parish. The crash claimed the lives of 83-year-old Shirley A. Chaisson and 34-year-old Jeffrey A. Holmes, both of Morgan City.
The initial investigation revealed Chaisson was driving eastbound on LA 70 when she pulled onto the improved shoulder then attempted to perform a U-turn in the roadway. At the same time, Holmes was driving east on LA 70 on a 2019 Honda CRF motorcycle. The front of the motorcycle struck the left side of the Camry in the eastbound lane of travel.
Chaisson was unrestrained and suffered fatal injuries. Her front seat passenger was transported to a local hospital with moderate injuries. Holmes was wearing a DOT approved helmet but also suffered fatal injuries. Both drivers were pronounced dead at the scene by the St. Martin Parish Coroner’s Office. A standard toxicology sample was obtained for analysis and this crash remains under investigation.
Evangeline Parish– Shortly after 7:30 p.m., on October 23, 2022, Troopers from Louisiana State Police Troop I began investigating a single-vehicle crash on Louisiana Highway 115 north of LA 106 in Evangeline Parish. The crash took the life of 41-year-old Jaworski Christmas of Bunkie.
The initial investigation by State Police revealed that the crash occurred as Christmas was driving south on LA 115 in a 2017 Dodge Charger at a high rate of speed. Christmas failed to negotiate a curve and the vehicle he was driving ran off the roadway. After leaving the roadway, the Charger struck an embankment then several trees.
Christmas was unrestrained at the time of the crash. He was pronounced deceased at the scene by the Evangeline Parish Coroner’s Office. His passenger was transported to a local hospital in critical condition. Impairment is unknown but a standard toxicology sample was obtained for analysis. This crash remains under investigation.
As this is the fourth fatal crash and fifth fatality this weekend in the Troop I area, Troopers want to remind motorists that we see many factors contributing to preventable crashes. Impaired driving, distracted driving, speeding, and lack of seat belt use continue to be major factors in these preventable crashes. We encourage everyone to have a plan before getting behind the wheel impaired. Drivers, please put the phones down and focus on the task of driving. Slow down and buckle up for every ride every time.
Troop I has investigated 45 fatal crashes resulting in 51 deaths since the beginning of 2022.
TFC Thomas Gossen
Louisiana State Police
Troop I Public Affairs
Office: (337) 262-5880