ST MARY PARISH, LA (WAFB) - Four Lafayette residents are dead, including a 1-year-old infant, and leaving another injured after a fatal crash involving unrestrained passengers.
Shortly after 8 p.m. on April 1, troopers from Louisiana State Police Troop I began investigating a two vehicle fatality crash on Prairie Hwy near Rookery Rd. in St. Martin Parish.
The crash claimed the lives of Tyrone Mitchell, 47, James Papillion, 41, Lakesha Leon, 25, and 1-year-old Kishawn Leon, all of Lafayette.
According to state police, the initial investigation revealed the crash happened as a driver, from St. Martinville, was traveling northbound on Prairie Hwy in a 2010 Ford F-150 and struck the rear of a 2005 Chevrolet Cavalier driven by Mitchell. Troopers are still investigating to determine if the Chevrolet was stopped partially in the roadway, facing north.
The driver of the F-150 was wearing a seatbelt and sustained minor injuries. A juvenile in that same vehicle was not wearing a seatbelt and sustained minor injuries. Both refused medical aid on scene.
Mitchell was wearing a seatbelt, but sustained fatal injuries. Papillion and Leon were both unrestrained and suffered fatal injuries.
All three were pronounced dead on the scene.
A passenger, Lakesha Leon, 25 of Lafayette, also in the vehicle was not wearing a seatbelt and sustained severe injuries. She was transported to a local hospital for treatment, where she later died.
Kearson Thomas, 29 of Lafayette, another passenger, suffered moderate injuries. He was transported to a local hospital for treatment.
It is unknown if impairment is a factor in this crash but toxicology samples were taken from all drivers for analysis, standard in crash fatalities.
This crash remains under investigation and will be forwarded to the District Attorney's Office for review upon completion.