State Police investigating two fatal one-car accidents
Failure to wear a seatbelt was cited as a cause of two fatal single-vehicle accidents this past weekend -- one in Grant Parish and the other in Livingston Parish.
Jacob Robb Kuhlman, 22, of Montgomery was killed at 10:45 a.m. Sunday when he lost control of his 2008 Lexus GS on U.S. Hwy 71 north of Montgomery, ran off the right side of the road and struck several trees.
State Police Troop E investigators said Kuhlman was not wearing a seatbelt and was thrown from the vehicle during the accident. Troop E also said the vehicle was traveling at a high rate of speed when Kuhlman lost control.
Kuhlman was transported to Rapides Regional Trauma Center where he was pronounced dead.
The accident is still under investigation.
In the other reported fatality, Ernest Miller, 57, of Holden was killed shortly after midnight Saturday on La. Hwy 441.
State Police Troop A reported that the initial investigation indicates Miller may have been impaired at the time of the accident.
Miller was southbound on LA 441 when his 1996 GMC Sierra ran off the roadway, striking a tree and a telephone pole. Miller was thrown from the vehicle in the accident and sustained serious injuries. He was taken to an area hospital where he died as a result of his injuries.
MESSAGE FROM STATE POLICE
A State Police spokesman said the proper use of seatbelts “will dramatically reduce your chance of being injured or killed in a crash. We ask you to take one second to ‘buckle up!’
“Louisiana law requires that every person in a vehicle, regardless of seating position, always remain buckled up,” the spokesman continued. “Not wearing a seatbelt remains the leading cause of death in motor vehicle crashes.”
While not all crashes are survivable, statistics show that the chances of surviving a traffic accident increase significantly when vehicle occupants are properly restrained. Speeding and driving while impaired with alcohol or drugs are also two primary causes of fatal accidents.
Speeding reduces a driver’s ability to steer safely around curves or objects in the roadway, extends the distance necessary to stop a vehicle and increases the distance a vehicle travels while the driver reacts to a situation, the LSP spokeman said.
“Speeding and other aggressive driving behaviors are among the leading causes of highway crashes and fatalities,” he added.
“Making good choices while in motor vehicles -- such as never driving while impaired, always ensuring every occupant is properly restrained and avoiding all distractions -- can often mean the difference between life and death.”
In Troop E, which includes Avoyelles Parish, State Police have investigated 20 fatal traffic accidents that have resulted in 25 deaths so far this year.