State police identify elderly woman killed in St. Amant wreck

State police identify elderly woman killed in St. Amant wreck
Published: Aug. 1, 2018 at 11:55 PM CDT|Updated: Aug. 2, 2018 at 6:13 PM CDT
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ST. AMANT, LA (WAFB) - Dorothy Hotard, like most of us, has a routine. Each day begins on her porch. "I sit here every morning and drink my coffee, trying to relax," she said.

But every day, she braces for a familiar danger to appear in the busy intersection where her home sits in St. Amant.

"When people are going to work, they drive like maniacs. They wait until they get to the road. They keep going, they don't stop," she said.

Hotard says cars seem to disregard speed limits and rush by. We saw that firsthand.

"On this road down here, sometimes they go, it looks like 70 and 80 miles per hour," Hotard said.

The intersection, Stringer Bridge Road at Beco Road, also happens to be the site of Wednesday evening's fatal wreck that left St. Amant resident, Harriet Humphrey, 71, dead.

"I heard it and it just kept on rolling and rolling," Hotard recalls. "I said, 'Oh my God. What in the world is wrong?' I couldn't move."

The shock of yet another crash on that roadway left Hotard and St. Amant Fire Department Chief James Leblanc stunned.

"In the last 20 years, we've lost eight people on this road. Out of the eight people that we've lost, five people were killed on the straightaway," explained Leblanc.

The crash happened around 6 p.m. on August 1 on Stringer Bridge Road at Beco Road near St. Amant.

Louisiana State Police says the crash occurred when Lauren Launey, 17, of Prairieville, was driving her 2011 Ford Taurus, failed to yield at the stop sign and collided with a 2009 Ford F-350 hauling a boat driven by Laine Cook, 49, of Gonzales.

The collision caused Cook 's vehicle and hit a 2005 Chevrolet Colorado head on driven by Gene Humphrey, 72, of St. Amant.

The chief says frustration surrounds this stretch of road. It's a constant source of worry for the area. "We need to understand that people are coming down these roads at high rates of speed or normal speeds. If we happen to pull out of one of these side roads, we need to make sure that we're giving these people enough time to slow down," the chief said. "It's just a bad situation for all of us."

Hotard says most times drivers "wait until they get to the stop sign to stop and it's too late then." She hopes drivers who frequent the road start paying attention and not rushing to their destination.

Gene and Harriet Humphrey were properly restrained at the time of the crash. Harriet was pronounced dead on the scene by the Ascension Parish Coroner's Office.

Gene sustained moderate injuries as a result of the crash. Launey and Cook were also properly restrained and sustained minor injuries.

Launey was cited for failure to yield at a stop. Impairment is not suspected to be a factor in the crash, but Trooper Bryan Lee with LSP says a toxicology sample was taken from each driver for analysis.

The crash remains under investigation and Lee says additional charges are pending.

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