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8 killed by impaired drivers in Terrebonne, Lafourche, Tangipahoa: LSP

Three crashes claimed the lives of eight people in less than 12 hours. The others were from Kentwood, Raceland and Houma

NEW ORLEANS — Eight people were killed in traffic collisions involving impaired drivers overnight Friday, a statement from the Louisiana State Police said Saturday morning.

Terrebonne:

The first crash happened on New Orleans Boulevard —Louisiana Highway 182— near Coteau Road —LA Hwy 660— in Houma.

Troopers were told about the two-car crash around 8 p.m. Friday. The Terrebonne Parish crash killed four people.

  • 42-year-old Charles Triggs, Jr. of Raceland
  •  21-year-old Danon Fulwiley of Raceland
  • 23-year-old Corey Porter of Raceland
  • 25-year-old Ariana Lachico of Houma

First reports from the investigation show Triggs was driving a 2014 Honda Accord eastward on New Orleans Boulevard. He tried to pass another vehicle in a no-passing zone while driving at a high rate of speed, the statement said.

Triggs struck a 2018 Honda Accord, driven by Lachico, head-on after crossing the centerline.

Lachico and Fulwiley were fatally hurt in the crash and were both declared dead at the scene.

Triggs and Porter were rushed to a hospital for emergency medical treatment, but they died at the hospital.

The passengers in Triggs' car, Fulwiley and Porter weren't wearing seatbelts, but the drivers of both vehicles, Triggs and Lachico were wearing seatbelts.

LSP investigators said they suspect Triggs was both impaired and driving recklessly.  A sample was taken from both drivers for testing.

Lafourche

The second crash happened early Saturday morning on LA Hwy 20 in Chackbay, and three people were killed.

The collision happened shortly after midnight. The victims of the crash are:

  • 19-year-old Lily Dufrene of Luling- Driver
  • 18-year-old Hali Coss of Luling-Passenger
  • 18-year-old Michaila Bowling of Luling- Passenger

Joey Clement, 39, of Thibodaux was driving a 2019 Ford F-150 north on LA Hwy 20, when the truck crossed the centerline and hit an SUV head-on.

Credit: WWLTV
Joey Clement

Flames erupted from both vehicles after the collision.

All three occupants in the SUV were fatally hurt because of the crash. They were all declared dead at the scene of the crash.

Clement, who wasn't wearing a seatbelt, has minor injuries, investigators said.

LSP troopers said Clement showed signs of impairment and was arrested for DWI. It is his fourth offense. Additional charges are pending.

Samples for testing were taken from both drivers. 

Director of Communications at Nicholls State University, Jerad David, released a statement in regards to the fallen students:

"Dear Nicholls Community,

I am deeply saddened to inform you of the tragic deaths of three Nicholls students, Michaila Bowling, nursing freshman from Luling, La., Hali Coss, allied health sciences freshman from Luling, La., and Lily Dufrene, nursing freshman from Luling, La., in the early hours of November 20, 2021. We offer our sincerest condolences to Michaila's, Hali's and Lily's families, friends, loved ones, and all who knew them.

During this time of tremendous loss, we are reminded of the importance of community. There is no greater sadness for a university and its members than the loss of a student. It is even more difficult in the tragic loss of three. I would like to remind you that we have services to support the emotional well-being of our students, faculty and staff.

I encourage those who feel they may need support or observe a Nicholls family member in distress to contact the Counseling Center, which remains open for in-person appointments and virtual appointments, at (985) 448-4080or counseling@nicholls.edu."

Donations can be sent to the GoFundMe set up in their honor.

Tangipahoa

A Kentwood man died in a traffic collision Saturday morning, according to a statement from Louisiana State Police Troop L.

Frederick Varnado, 38, wasn't wearing his seatbelt while driving a 2000 Toyota 4Runner eastbound on LA Hwy 10. The 4Runner left the highway, veering right, traveling through a ditch before hitting a tree.

Investigators are looking into why the vehicle left the roadway. Varnado was fatally hurt in the crash and pronounced dead at the scene.

The single-vehicle collision happened on LA Hwy 10 near LA Hwy 1054.

LSP troopers began investigating the fatal crash around 6:30 a.m., the statement said.

Troopers investigating the crash suspect Varnado may have been impaired. A sample was taken from Varnado's remains for testing.

The crash remains under investigation.

"Troopers would like to remind motorists of the importance of safe decisions behind the wheel," The LSP statement said. "Please take a moment to speak with your loved ones about the importance of their safe decisions. Remind them to always wear a seatbelt, never drive impaired, and to avoid distractions."