Fourth of July crash claims 2 lives

SCOTT -- Two people died following a three-vehicle crash on U.S. 90 west of Scott, Louisiana State Police report.

Greg Picard, 50, of Scott, was driving a Lincoln passenger car west on U.S. 90 at 9:16 p.m. Thursday when a Mercury SUV, driven by 55-year-old Paul Francis, 55, of Lafayette, was headed east on US 90 approaching Picard., police report. A 2006 Mitsubishi passenger car, driven by Darleen Richard, 55, of Lafayette was traveling behind Francis, police stated.

For reasons still under investigation, Picard crossed the center line and struck the left rear side of Francis’ vehicle, police report.. The impact caused Francis’ vehicle to overturn. Picard’s car continued traveling and struck Richard’s vehicle head-on, police stated.

Picard was not restrained and was pronounced dead at the scene by the Lafayette Parish coroner, police stated.

Police stated Francis was restrained and was transported to a local hospital with minor injuries. A passenger in Francis’ vehicle, Connie Celestine, 53, of Lafayette, was not restrained and was ejected from the vehicle, police stated. She was transported to a local hospital with moderate injuries.

Richard, who was restrained, died at the scene and was pronounced dead by the Lafayette Parish coroner, police stated.

It is unknown if impairment was a factor in the crash; however, routine toxicology samples have been obtained and will be submitted to the State Police Crime Lab for analysis, police stated..

This crash remains under investigation.

Last year, 62 percent of the fatal crashes investigated by Troop I involved some form of impairment, Tfc. Stephen Hammons, Troop I public affairs, stated. Even after having just one drink, decision making abilities are hindered, he stated.

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