One Unrestrained Driver Dies, Another Injured in Head-On Crash on LA 26 in Jefferson Davis Parish

By Evelina Rivers
Published September 19, 2023

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Jefferson Davis Parish, Louisiana – On the 17th of September, 2023, just before 8:15 in the evening, a call was answered by Troop D of the Louisiana State Police regarding a collision between two vehicles close to the crossroads of LA Hwy 26 and Hillias Road in the area of Jefferson Davis Parish. The unfortunate incident resulted in the death of Chelsey E. Benoit, a 29-year-old resident of Jennings, Louisiana.

The beginning phases of the investigation showed that a 65-year-old man named Jeffery L. Meche from Jennings, Louisiana was driving a 2014 GMC pickup truck northwards on LA 26. Concurrently, an SUV – a 2006 GMC Envoy driven by Benoit – was heading south on the same road. It is still unclear why, but Meche veered into the southbound lane and hit the SUV in a head-on collision.

Benoit, according to LSP, was not properly restrained and was taken to a nearby hospital where she eventually died from her injuries. Meche, who also wasn’t restrained, suffered moderate injuries. He was airlifted to a hospital in the Lafayette region for medical attention.

A sample for toxicology testing has been procured from Benoit and it’s slated for analysis. A similar sample from Meche is yet to be processed. The inquiry into the crash is still ongoing.

Louisiana State Troopers want to stress the importance of making wise choices when driving. We urge you to take a few seconds to fasten your seatbelts. According to Louisiana law, all car passengers must be safely secured regardless of the time of day. Not using a seatbelt continues to be the primary cause of avoidable fatalities in vehicle crashes.

So far in 2023, 26 deadly crashes were examined by Troop D, which led to a total of 29 fatalities.