Two dead in holiday crashes

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, January 5, 2011



LAPLACE – A 32-year-old Raceland man and a 5-year-old Ponchatoula boy were killed in separate New Year’s Day accidents on interstate roadways in the River Parishes, according to releases from State Police.

In the first crash, which occurred just after 3:30 a.m. Saturday on Interstate 310 near the Airline Highway exit in St. Charles Parish, Howard Folse III, 32, was killed when he was struck by another motorist while standing outside of his vehicle.

According to State Police, Folse was traveling northbound on I-310 in a Chevrolet S-10 pickup truck when he veered off the road and crashed into a “crash cushion” on the right side of the interstate near the Airline Highway exit ramp.

Folse then exited his vehicle, and while he was standing next to his truck, he and the vehicle were struck by a 2004 Chevrolet Impala driven by Lucien Dupard, 36, of Destrehan. Folse was pronounced dead at the scene.

State Police investigators said Dupard was intoxicated and asleep at the wheel at the time of the accident. He was arrested at the scene and booked into the Nelson Coleman Correctional Facility in St. Charles Parish on charges of vehicular homicide, DWI and careless operation.

Authorities believe that alcohol played a factor in Folse’s crash into the side of the road. Toxicology and autopsy reports are pending and the accident is still under investigation.

The second crash occurred just before 10 a.m. Saturday on Interstate 55 near the Interstate 10 interchange in St. John the Baptist Parish.

The one-car accident claimed the life of 5-year-old Logan Young. Young’s stepfather, Steven Acosta, 44, and Acosta’s wife, Shana, 36, were also in the vehicle but only suffered minor injuries. All occupants were wearing seat belts.

According to the State Police release, Steven Acosta was traveling south on I-55 about a third of a mile from I-10 when he lost control of his 2006 Mazda Tribute. The vehicle hit the left guardrail and rolled over multiple times.

All three occupants were transported to River Parishes Hospital in LaPlace. Authorities said Steven and Shana Acosta were treated for minor injuries, but Young died at the hospital.

Steven Acosta voluntarily submitted to a chemical test, according to State Police, but investigators said driver impairment was not a factor in the crash. Authorities believe speed and weather conditions contributed to the accident.