Unrestrained Passenger Dies in St. Landry Parish Crash

Published 7:07 am Wednesday, November 9, 2022

St. Landry Parish – Shortly after 11:00 a.m. on November 8, 2022, Louisiana State Police Troop I was notified of a two-vehicle crash on U.S. Highway 190 near LA Highway 741. The crash claimed the life of 84-year-old Velma D. Hendrix of Melville.
The preliminary investigation revealed a 2015 Ram 2500 pickup, driven by Michael Cook of Columbia, LA., was traveling south of LA 741. At the same time, a 2008 Acura RDX was traveling west on US 190. As the Acura approached the intersection, Cook failed to yield as he attempted to cross over both westbound lanes of US 190. The front of the Ram struck the passenger side of the Acura in the westbound lane of travel.
Hendrix was the rear left seat passenger in the Acura. She was unrestrained at the time of the crash and was transported to a local hospital in critical condition where she ultimately succumbed to her injuries. The driver of the Acura, who was restrained, and three additional passengers (seat belt usage unknown) all suffered moderate to critical injuries and were transported to local hospitals for treatment.
Cook was also unrestrained but was not injured. He submitted a breath sample indicating no alcohol in his system and had no signs of impairment. He was cited for failure to yield from a stop sign and no seat belt. A routine toxicology sample from the driver of the Acura has been submitted to the Louisiana State Police Crime Lab for analysis. This crash remains under investigation.
Louisiana State Police would like to remind motorists to slow down and come to a complete stop in order to ensure no cross traffic is present and ALWAYS wear your seat belt, regardless of seating position. Simple precautions such as these can often mean the difference between life and death.
Troop I has investigated 50 fatal crashes resulting in 56 deaths in 2022.