Unrestrained 79-Year-Old Louisiana Man Killed and Another Man Injured in 3-Vehicle Crash on LA 27

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Published January 14, 2023

Unrestrained 79-Year-Old Louisiana Man Killed and Another Man Injured in 3-Vehicle Crash on LA 27

Beauregard Parish, Louisiana – A 79-year-old man died in a crash in Louisiana after his vehicle was struck from behind by another car and pushed into the opposing lane, colliding with a third vehicle.

Louisiana State Police reported that on January 13, 2023, shortly after 9:00 a.m., Troopers from LSP Troop D responded to a crash involving three vehicles on LA Hwy 27 about a half mile south of Jack Nelson Road in Beauregard Parish. Ronald Duane Wendt, 79, of DeRidder, Louisiana, died in the crash.

The initial inquiry found that Wendt was traveling north on LA 27 at a slow speed when his 2001 Saturn sedan was struck from behind by a 2008 Chevrolet Avalanche driven by 66-year-old Raymond Eddy Reid Jr. of DeRidder. Following the initial impact, the Saturn crossed into the opposing lane of travel and collided with a 2006 Jeep Commander traveling south.
Wendt, who was not properly restrained, suffered fatal injuries and was pronounced dead at the scene. Reid was also not properly restrained and suffered minor injuries. He was sent to a local hospital for treatment. The driver of the Jeep was properly restrained and was not injured.

Toxicology samples were collected from all three drivers and submitted for testing. Reid was cited for careless operation and no seat belt. This collision is still being investigated, and additional charges are possible.

Louisiana State Troopers urge motorists to always make sound decisions behind the wheel. They ask drivers to take three seconds to “buckle up!” Day and night, Louisiana law requires vehicle occupants to be securely restrained in all seating positions. The most common cause of preventable fatality in car accidents is not wearing a seat belt.

This is the first fatal crash Troop D has examined in 2023.