Driver Suspected of Impairment; Arrested in Fatal St. James Parish Crash

Published 3:45 pm Monday, May 8, 2023

Getting your Trinity Audio player ready...

Gramercy – On May 7, 2023, shortly after 10:30 p.m., Troopers with Louisiana State Police Troop A began investigating a two-vehicle crash on US 61 south of Interstate 10 in St. James Parish. The crash ultimately claimed the life of 27-year-old Jiasia Steib of Baton Rouge.

The initial investigation revealed that 50-year-old Mark Wooten of Houston, Texas was driving a 2021 Ford F-150 headed south in the northbound lane on US 61.   At the same time, Steib was traveling north on US 61 in a 2019 Honda Civic.  For reasons still being investigated, Wooten continued traveling south in the northbound lane and struck the Civic head-on.

Steib was not restrained at the time of the crash and succumbed to her injuries at the scene.  Wooten was also unrestrained and was transported to a local hospital with moderate injuries from the crash.  During the on scene investigation, Wooten displayed multiple signs of impairment and was subsequently arrested for the following charges:  Vehicular Homicide, Reckless Operation, DWI (1st offense), and No Seatbelt.  Wooten will be booked into the St. James Parish Jail on the aforementioned charges when discharged from the hospital.  This crash remains under investigation.

While not all crashes are survivable, statistics demonstrate that properly worn restraints can significantly reduce your risk of being injured or killed in a crash. Louisiana law requires that every person in a vehicle, regardless of seating position, always remain buckled up. Properly wearing your seat belt is one of the most effective ways to save your life and reduce injuries in crashes.