Ascension teenager circulates petition to make Black Bayou safer - WAFB 9 News Baton Rouge, Louisiana News, Weather, Sports

Ascension teenager circulates petition to make Black Bayou safer


An Ascension Parish teenager says he wants to trade places with the two girls who drowned in Black Bayou on Tuesday. Austin Pardue crashed into the bayou two years ago and survived.  He and his mother created a petition to create a guard rail on Stringer Bridge Road.

Austin Pardue, 18, says he's lucky to be alive. He and two friends drove off the Stringer Bridge Road two years ago when his tire blew out. He and his friends swam through a window to the surface.

Tuesday night brought back painful memories for Pardue. That's when Raelyn Encalade, 28, lost control of her car, and her two little girls, Faith, 9, and Patience, 7, both drowned while still inside the car. Encalade and two of her daughter's friends survived.

"To tell you the truth, if it could have been me, not those two kids I would do it because that's just sad. It hurts me that those girls didn't experience life and at least I got 16 years," Pardue.

Pardue and his mother Jenny started an online petition to put guardrails alongside the road. Jenny Pardue says they've collected around 2,000 signatures. 

"We need a rail or a wall. We need something to save people's lives. It's ridiculous people have to be heartbroken," Jenny Pardue said. 

To sign the petition, you can email Jenny Pardue at

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