Simmesport Man Killed in Avoyelles Parish Crash, Impairment Suspected

Published 9:13 am Friday, July 21, 2023

Avoyelles Parish – On July 21, 2023, at approximately midnight, Louisiana State Police Troop E responded to a one-vehicle crash on Bayou DeGlaise Road. The crash claimed the life of 18-year-old Thadeus Xavier.
The initial investigation revealed that a 2010 Dodge, driven by 18-year-old Joel Newsom of Simmesport, was traveling east on Bayou DeGlaise Road. For reasons still under investigation, Newsom’s vehicle left the roadway, traveled down the ditch embankment and struck a tree.
Newsom, who was not restrained, sustained moderate injuries and was transported to a local hospital. Xavier, who also was not restrained, sustained fatal injuries and was pronounced dead at the scene. Impairment is a suspected factor in this crash. Routine toxicology samples were obtained and submitted for analysis. This crash remains under investigation.
Louisiana State Police would like to remind all motorists that if you feel differently, you drive differently. Alcohol, prescription drugs, and other drugs have many effects on the body that negatively affect driving skills. These drugs can impair visual ability, alter the sense of time and space, impair fine motor skills needed to operate a motor vehicle, and decrease reaction times. Motorists are encouraged to plan ahead and designate a sober driver. Not doing so can have deadly consequences.
While not all crashes are survivable, proper use of seat belts can greatly decrease an occupant’s chance of death and may greatly reduce the extent of injury. Always ensuring every occupant is properly restrained can often mean the difference between life and death.
In 2023, Troop E has investigated 32 fatal crashes, resulting in 37 deaths.