16-year-old driver dies in East Feliciana late night crash

EAST FELICIANA PARISH, LA (WAFB) - A 16-year-old from Zachary has died after crashing his vehicle while passing another vehicle at a high rate of speed, authorities say.

Shortly after 1:00 am on August 13, Troopers from Louisiana State Police Troop A began investigating a single vehicle fatality crash on LA 959 east of LA 409 in East Feliciana Parish.

State police say the crash took the life of 16-year-old Caleb Copeland of Zachary.

According to authorities, the initial investigation by state police showed the crash happened as Copeland was traveling westbound on LA 959 in a 1997 GMC pickup.

State police say Copeland began passing another vehicle at a high rate of speed as he entered a curve. He then failed to negotiate the curve and struck the guardrail on the east side of the roadway.

Copeland's vehicle became airborne and began to overturn as it rolled down an embankment.

Copeland was properly restrained but sustained fatal injuries as a result of the crash. He was pronounced dead at the scene by the East Feliciana Parish Coroner's Office.

Authorities say it is unknown if impairment was a factor in this crash but a toxicology sample will be taken from Copeland for analysis - standard in crash fatalities.

State police issued a statement on teen driving saying:

Thousands of teens die every year in preventable crashes. Troopers encourage parents to sit down with their teens and talk to them about being responsible drivers. Parents should discuss the importance of buckling up, and the dangers of driving distracted or impaired. Sudden Impact Louisiana is currently offering parent sessions that discuss laws specific to teen drivers, help parents maximize their experience as their teens driving coach, and reduce high risk behavior.

For more information on about parent sessions, visit: https://www.facebook.com/SuddenImpactLouisiana.

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