Jan 2, 2012 12:28 AM by Chris Welty

Deadly Start to 2012

The new year holiday marked by tragedy this weekend with three deadly accidents all in the last three days.

It definitely was a busy weekend for emergency officials across Acadiana. Friday and Saturday there was a fatal crash in Lafayette, and Sunday morning was the first fatal accident for Saint Landry Parish.

With the new year's weekend coming to a close that means less drivers will be on the road, but the holiday brought an increased amount of traffic which also means a greater risk for accidents.

"We look to try to curb that by being out in a heavy presence, but also by encouraging people to follow the laws, and also to not drink and drive," said Corporal Paul Mouton with the Lafayette Police Department.

Though alcohol isn't suspected to be a contributing factor to any of the fatal accidents, Mouton says it is important to always be alert.

"It doesn't mean impaired drivers aren't out there, it just means that you have to be a defensive driver at all times when operating a motor vehicle."

In both Friday and Saturday's crashes, improper lane changes are suspected to be the cause. Friday afternoon, 71-year-old Charles Landry died after his suv was struck and flipped. Saturday, 19-year-old Cortney Barber died after the car she was in struck another car and then a tree. The third fatal crash was in Opelousas, killing Terry Living after his car hit a concrete wall and he was ejected.

Corporal Mouton says to avoid accidents like this, it is important to not be impaired, to be well rested, and to use your signals, brake sooner, and to drive defensively.

All three accidents are still under investigation.

Chris Welty



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