MONTEGUT, LA — An 18 year old male was killed and two juveniles were injured as his vehicle lost control and landed in Bayou Terrebonne.
The investigation revealed that shortly after midnight a 1997 Mercury Grand Marquis, driven by Justin Naquin, 18, of Chauvin, La, was driving south on LA 55 in Montegut. Evidence at the scene indicated the Grand Marquis was traveling at a high rate of speed when it entered a right curve on LA 55 and lost control.
Upon losing control, the vehicle crossed the center line, then left the roadway onto the northbound shoulder. Naquin then attempted to re-enter the roadway while braking. This caused Naquin’s vehicle to slide across the north and southbound lanes of LA 55. Naquin’s vehicle then left the roadway across the southbound shoulder where it entered a grassy area and began to rotate counter-clockwise. The Marquis struck a dock and then rolled over onto its roof as it landed in Bayou Terrebonne and sank.
The front seat passenger, a 16 year old female, was able to escape the vehicle through an open window and swam to safety. She was later transported to Terrebonne General Hospital where she was treated and released for minor injuries. The back seat passenger, a 15 year old female, remained trapped in the submerged vehicle until she was pulled to safety by rescue personnel. She was transported to Terrebonne General Hospital with life threatening injuries. Naquin was pronounced dead at the scene by the Terrebonne Parish Coroner’s Office. No one in the vehicle was wearing a seat belt at the time of the crash.
Alcohol and speed are suspected to be factors in the crash. Routine toxicology tests are pending for Naquin. This crash remains under investigation.
While there have been fewer deaths associated with impaired driving in recent years, there is still much room for improvement. While not all crashes are survivable, proper use of seat belts can greatly decrease an occupant’s chance of death and may greatly reduce the extent of injury.
Motorists that witness hazardous situations are urged to call *LSP (*577) and report that activity to the Louisiana State Police.