Pedestrian struck and killed in Geismar, impairment suspected factor

Thursday, August 9, 2012 - 11:00am

Louisiana State Police Troop A investigated a fatal crash involving a pedestrian last night in Ascension Parish. The crash occurred on LA 30 north of LA 73 shortly before 10:30 p.m. The pedestrian was walking in the roadway when he was struck and died at the scene.

Troopers’ preliminary investigation revealed that Mark Mata, 42, of Corpus Christi, TX was walking north on LA 30 in the northbound lane when he was struck from behind by a northbound 1995 Chevrolet Monte Carlo. The driver of the Monte Carlo, Michael Taylor, 59, of Gonzales, brought the vehicle to an immediate stop on the shoulder of LA 30 and called 911. Mata was wearing dark clothing and was walking in the roadway in an area where there was no lighting. He was pronounced deceased on the scene by the Ascension Parish Coroner’s Office. Taylor was injured in the crash and was transported to St. Elizabeth Hospital by Acadian Ambulance.

Troopers do not suspect impairment to have been a factor on Taylor’s part. However, they have submitted a sample of Taylor’s blood to the Louisiana State Police Crime Lab for chemical analysis. Troopers do suspect that Mata was impaired and have submitted a sample of his blood to the Louisiana State Police crime lab as well. No charges have been filed in connection with this crash, and the crash remains under investigation.

There have been several fatal crashes involving pedestrians across the state this year, and impairment has been a common factor on the part of the driver, the pedestrian, or both. Troopers strongly encourage people to make good decisions before getting on the roadways. Driving impaired is not only dangerous and against the law, but it also proves disastrous all too often across the state. Troopers remind motorists that even small amounts of alcohol in your system can impair your ability to drive a vehicle. Also, it is very important to point out that the first thing that is affected when drinking is judgment. Poor decisions, such as riding with an impaired driver, not wearing a seat belt, or walking in the middle of the road at night are just a few examples of poor judgment made by impaired individuals.

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