Dry Prong Woman Killed in Crash

Rapides Parish – Earlier today, a crash involving two vehicles killed and woman from Dry Prong, LA.
Troopers responded to the crash around 5:30 p.m., which occurred on US Hwy 71, south of Alexandria. The crash involved a 2004 Chevrolet pickup, driven by James G. Fontenot (W/M 60 yrs) of Cheneyville, LA and a 2011 GMC SUV, driven by Laura M. Cooper (W/F 64 yrs).

The Chevrolet was southbound on US Hwy 71 when Fontenot lost control and exited the left side of the roadway. After exiting the roadway, the vehicle continued through the median and entered the northbound lanes. This action resulted in the Chevrolet colliding head-on with the northbound GMC.
Fontenot was wearing his seat belt and received moderate injuries. He was transported to Rapides Regional Trauma Center for treatment.
Cooper was wearing her seat belt, but was pronounced dead.

Routine toxicology tests and charges are pending. The crash remains under investigation.

While not all crashes are survivable, seat belts can greatly decrease the occupant’s chance of death and will greatly reduce the extent of injury.

Although the exact cause of the crash remains under investigation, Troopers would like to remind the public of the following: inattentive and distracted driving is dangerous and is a leading cause of crashes in our state. It is important for motorists to pay attention to what is going on outside of the vehicle they are driving. More information on distracted driving may be found online at the federal government’s official distracted driving website, www.distraction.gov.

In 2018, Troop E has investigated 37 fatal crashes resulting in 40 deaths.

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