Teenage passenger killed in impaired driving crash

Published 6:47 am Tuesday, May 4, 2021

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Jefferson Davis Parish – On May 3, 2021, at approximately 2:10 p.m., Troopers from Louisiana State Police Troop D responded to a single-vehicle crash on LA Hwy 383 just south of Village Cemetery Road in Jefferson Davis Parish. The crash claimed the life of 18-year-old Alijah J. Droddy of Kinder.
The preliminary investigation revealed a 2002 Dodge pickup truck, driven by 18-year-old Hunter Joseph Pelican of Kinder, was traveling north on LA 383 at a high rate of speed. The Dodge ran off the right side of the roadway and struck a mailbox before traveling back onto the roadway and striking another mailbox on the opposite side of the road. The Dodge rolled over several times before coming to rest on the side of the roadway.
Pelican, Droddy, and a third occupant were not wearing seat belts at the time of the crash and were ejected from the vehicle. Droddy sustained fatal injuries and was pronounced dead at the scene. Pelican sustained moderate injuries and the other passenger sustained life-threatening injuries. Both were transported to a Lake Charles area hospital by Air Med for treatment.
Pelican remains hospitalized and has been charged with vehicular homicide, reckless operation, first degree vehicular negligent injuring, and no seat belt.
A toxicology sample was obtained and will be submitted for analysis. The crash remains under investigation.
Alcohol can impair visual ability, alter sense of time and space, impair fine motor skills needed to operate a motor vehicle, and decrease reaction times. The decision to get into a vehicle with an impaired driver can have deadly consequences.
Louisiana state law requires vehicle occupants to be properly restrained in all seating positions, day or night. Statistics show the chances of surviving a crash rise significantly when properly restrained but the decision not to wear a seat belt can have deadly consequences. Motorists are encouraged to make the smart choice and to always wear a seat belt.
Troop D has investigated 8 fatal crashes resulting in 8 deaths in 2021.