On September 18, 2023, a tragic vehicle was investigated by Louisiana State Police Troop F. The investigation, which began just after 7:00 in the morning, concerned a deadly collision involving one vehicle on LA Hwy 133 close to Bellview Lane. Melanie Gray, 60, and Brinkley Thomas, 43, both from Columbia, Louisiana sadly lost their lives in the crash.
The initial investigation showed that a 2023 model Hyundai Elantra, driven by Gray, was heading north on LA Highway 133 when it left the roadway and struck a tree. The reasons for the Elantra leaving the road and colliding with a tree are still being investigated.
Gray, who wasn’t wearing a seatbelt, was thrown from the Elantra and died from her injuries on the spot. Thomas, who also wasn’t wearing a seatbelt, died from his injuries suffered in the crash. While it’s unclear if alcohol or drugs were a factor, standard toxicology tests have been carried out and results are awaited. The investigation into the crash is still ongoing.
One cannot survive every crash; however, the most efficient way to reduce the likelihood of injury or death during a collision, is simply to wear a seat belt. According to Louisiana’s laws, it is compulsory for every passenger, regardless of their seating, to be securely fastened by seat belts at all times while the vehicle is moving.
So far in 2023, 26 deadly crashes were examined by Troop F, which led to 30 fatalities.