Smoke From Burning Field Leads to Fatal Crash in Vermilion Parish
A Lake Arthur man is dead following a fatal crash on Louisiana Highway 14 west of W. Pirates Lane in Vermilion Parish on Thursday afternoon.
Louisiana State Police say the incident happened around 2:00 p.m. A farming operation was burning field edges near LA 14 when smoke started building up, affecting the vision of drivers on the road. In just a matter of moments, two separate but related crashes happened. Then, that road blockage led to a third crash, this one carrying what would be the person who would die - 26-year-old Erin Mathew LaPoint of Lake Arthur.
LaPoint was traveling west on LA 14 in a Mustang when he rear-ended a Peterbilt Single Unit Delivery Tanker, which was stopped on the road because of the previous crashes. That's when LaPoint was rear-ended by a pickup truck, driven by Skyler Abshire of Gueydan, crushing LaPoint's car between the two. State Police say LaPoint was unrestrained and died on the scene. The driver of the Peterbilt was restrained and was not injured. The driver of the pickup was unrestrained but, fortunately, was not injured.
While standard toxicology samples were obtained from the drivers, the two drivers who survived did not show signs of impairment and their breath samples did not show alcohol present. LaPoint's sample has been sent to the lab for analysis as the investigation continues.
This is the 39th fatal crash that Troop I has had to investigate in 2022. 44 people have died in these crashes.