44-year-old Dawn Bernard of Carencro and 53-year-old James Bellard of Church Point are dead after their vehicles crashed with each other around midnight on Saturday on Louisiana Highway 95 at the intersection with Louisiana Highway 1097 about 4 miles north of Duson.

According to a press release from Louisiana State Police Troop I, investigators say Bernard's car failed to yield at a stop sign at the intersection and was hit by Bellard's truck. The impact forced both vehicles off the roadway.

LA 95 at LA 1097, google street view

Troopers say Bellard was not wearing a seat belt when the crash happened; they are still trying to figure out if Bernard was. Bellard died at the scene; Bernard died at a nearby hospital.

Louisiana State Police spokesman Trooper Ross Brennan leaves this important message:

According to the Center for Disease Control, motor vehicle crashes are a leading cause of death among people age 1 to 54 in America. Taking 3 seconds to buckle up is your best defense for surviving a traffic crash. Always ensure every occupant is properly restrained. Every trip. Every time.

The investigation continues as investigators analyze toxicology samples taken from both drivers.

For 2021, this is the 32nd fatal crash being investigated by Troop I. 40 people have died in these crashes.

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