Speed Suspected in Louisiana Rollover Crash that Killed an Unrestrained Teen on LA 44

By Calcasieu Staff
Published May 03, 2023

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Speed Suspected in Louisiana Rollover Crash that Killed an Unrestrained Teen on LA 44

St. James Parish, Louisiana – Investigators suspect that speed was a factor in a rollover crash on Louisiana 44 that killed an unrestrained teen.

According to the Louisiana State Police (LSP), Troopers from Troop A began investigating a single-vehicle crash on LA 44 near Oak Tree Street in St. James Parish shortly after 6:30 a.m. on May 2, 2023. Drake Ryan Upton, 19, of Lafayette, Louisiana, died as a result of the crash.

According to preliminary investigations, Upton was driving a 2019 Ford F-150 south on Louisiana 44. Upton failed to handle a left-hand turn, went off the road to the right, overcorrected, and went off the road to the left for reasons that are still being investigated. He then collided with a tree, causing his vehicle to flip over.

Upton was not restrained at the time of the crash, according to investigators, and was ejected from the Ford. He had critical injuries and was taken to a nearby hospital, where he died. A toxicological sample was acquired from Upton as part of the continuing inquiry and will be analyzed. This crash is still being investigated.

According to LSP, speeding increases your chances of being seriously hurt or killed in a crash. When you speed, you are more likely to lose control and have a reduced capacity to respond to or avoid a traffic hazard. While not all crashes are avoidable, statistics show that properly worn restraints can significantly reduce your chances of being injured or killed in a crash. Louisiana law requires that everyone in a vehicle, regardless of seating position, wear their seat belts at all times. Wearing your seat belt correctly is one of the most effective ways to save your life and reduce injuries in a vehicle crash.