25-year-old Ashley Murray Menard of Church Point is dead following a fatal crash early Wednesday morning on LA Highway 98 near Pavie Lane in Lafayette Parish.

Louisiana State Police spokesman Trooper Thomas Gossen says Menard's westbound SUV ran off the road to the left, overturned and caught fire with her inside. Troopers do not know if she was wearing a seat belt and/or if she was impaired. She was pronounced dead at the scene as the investigation continues.

Trooper Gossen released the following statement:

Troopers would like to take this opportunity to remind motorists to always make good decisions while operating motor vehicles. Never drive while impaired, fatigued, or distracted, always ensure every occupant is properly restrained, and follow all traffic laws. While not all crashes are survivable, taking simple precautions such as these can often mean the difference between life and death.

So far, 2021 has brought 5 fatal crashes that Troop I has investigated, as well as 6 deaths.

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