Houma, Louisiana – Louisiana State Police Troop C initiated an investigation into a fatal two-vehicle crash on Louisiana Highway 182 near Sugar Ridge Drive, at around 5 am on December 27, 2023. The collision resulted in the tragic deaths of Melissa Stelly, aged 34, and Duncan Prentice, aged 28, both residents of Houma, Louisiana.
According to the initial findings, Stelly was driving a Ford F-350 eastbound on LA Hwy 182 when her vehicle veered across the centerline and collided head-on with Prentice’s westbound Ford F-150 as they approached a right curve. The impact caused the F-150 to overturn into Bayou Black and both vehicles caught fire. Due to fire damage, it is yet to be determined whether restraint systems were utilized by either driver.
Both Stelly and Prentice succumbed to their injuries at the scene of the crash. Toxicology reports for both drivers are pending as part of standard procedure. The investigation into this incident is ongoing.
Louisiana State Police indicated that while this investigation continues, it is crucial to prioritize safe driving practices for personal and public safety on the roads. Adhering to speed limits and traffic regulations can significantly reduce the likelihood of crashes. Minimizing distractions such as texting or phone usage while driving is essential for maintaining focus on the road ahead. Additionally, never operate a vehicle under the influence of alcohol or drugs as impaired driving can have devastating consequences.
In 2023 alone, Troop C has investigated 29 fatal crashes resulting in 33 fatalities.