Posts tagged ‘louisiana state police’

State ranks fifth in train-vehicle accidents

Louisiana ranks fifth in the nation for the most vehicle-train collisions, according to the latest Federal Railroad Administration data.

The same data shows that Calcasieu ranks seventh-highest in the state in vehicle-train collisions.

According to the data, vehicle-train collisions are on the rise. There were 2,004 vehicle-train collisions in 2010 in the United States. A total of 260 people died and 810 people were injured in those accidents. In 2009, there were 1,924 vehicle-train collisions with 247 deaths and 738 injuries.

Louisiana had 106 vehicle-train collisions in 2010 with 13 fatalities and 65 injuries, compared to 84 collisions in 2009 with 11 fatalities and 36 injuries.

The state ranked fifth highest in the nation in highway-rail collisions, fourth highest in fatalities, third highest in injuries and 14 highest in trespass casualties and injuries.

Trespass casualties are incidents that do not happen at a crossing, such as a person walking on train tracks.

According to Operation Lifesaver Inc., the reason for the increase in collisions could be that more people are traveling because of the steadily-improving economy.

Also in Southwest Louisiana, Allen Parish ranked 18th in the state for the most vehicle-train collisions; Jeff Davis, 20th; and Beauregard, 38th. Cameron Parish does not have any train tracks and was not ranked.

In trespass casualties and injuries, Calcasieu is ranked 10th in the state and Allen is 15th. Beauregard and Jeff Davis had no casualties and were not ranked.

On the law enforcement side of Operation Lifesaver, Louisiana State Police conduct railroad crossing enforcement details throughout the state throughout the state.

State police and Operation Lifesaver has speakers and troopers available to schools, city agencies and civic groups.

In 2010, during four details, troopers issued 143 citations, which included 98 for failure to obey a signal indicating the approach of a train.

Louisiana law require drivers to make complete stops at crossings where red lights are flashing, which indicates a train is approaching.

Failure to obey signals can garner a $200 fine and 30 days in jail for the first offense. The fine for racing a train is $1,000.

March 18, 2011 at 1:07 am

WEDNESDAY WRECKS: Crash kills three

Troopers suspect driver in Vinton crash impaired

The driver of a van and a passenger in the pickup truck were pronounced dead at the scene of this twovehicle head-on collision on U.S. 90 east in Vinton Wednesday morning. The driver of the truck was taken to a Lake Charles with moderate injuries. BY BRAD PUCKETT/AMERICAN PRESS

Three people died on Southwest Louisiana roads in early-morning accidents on Wednesday, according to state police.

Two people were killed at 7:50 a.m. just east of Vinton, said Sgt. James Anderson.

Raymond Armentor, 47, of Sulphur was traveling west on U.S. 90 in a pickup truck when he crossed the center line and collided head-on with the van driven by Brian Holland, 45, also of Sulphur.

Anderson said Holland and a passenger in the pickup, Rebecca Pago Leboeuf, 47, of Sulphur were pronounced dead at the scene of the accident.

Armentor’s injuries were described as moderate, and he was taken to a local hospital.

Anderson said troopers believe Armentor was impaired and that toxicology tests are pending. He has been charged with two counts of vehicular homicide, second-offense DWI and driving left of center.

Armentor and Leboeuf were wearing seatbelts; Holland wasn’t.

In a separate accident, Shasta Ann Fuselier, 31, of Eunice died in a single-vehicle accident just north of Jennings, police said.

She was traveling north on La. 102 near Grand Marais Road at about 2 a.m. when her 2005 GMC Yukon left the road, struck a utility pole and rolled over, state police said.

Fuselier, who was not wearing a seatbelt, was ejected during the rollover.

She was pronounced dead at Jennings American Legion Hospital.

Routine toxicology are pending.


March 11, 2010 at 4:11 pm Leave a comment

Officers involved in fatal shooting


Lake Charles police officers responding to a burglary call late Tuesday shot to death a man inside the house they were called to.

The man was pronounced dead at the scene. His identity was not made available late Tuesday.

Louisiana State Police is investigating the shooting.

At around 8 p.m., officers were called to 1738 Elms St. for a burglary-in-progress, according to Lake Charles Sgt. Mark Kraus.

“When the two officers entered to clear the home, a man entered behind them,” Kraus said.

Kraus said the officers turned and saw the man, who they said was holding a firearm. The officers fired on him, believing he was a threat.

A nearby resident reporting hearing about five shots.

The owner of the residence, who declined to be identified, said a neighbor called him just before 8 p.m. saying that his front door was open.

“I told him to call the police, and I left work to come home,” the homeowner said.

The house is on a residential street one block behind Immaculate Conception Cathedral School and a few blocks from Christus St. Patrick Hospital.

The homeowner said someone attempted to kick in his back door last Wednesday night. He said the would-be burglar then attempted to kick in a side door, but police arrived as he got it open.

The transferring of the investigation to state police is a standard procedure. The Calcasieu Parish Sheriff’s Office crime scene unit collected evidence at the scene at the request of state police.

Kraus did not release the names of the officers’ involved in the shooting late Tuesday.


February 10, 2010 at 4:18 pm Leave a comment

Dalton ‘just had so much character’

Law enforcement officials remember trooper killed in two-vehicle accident

Local law enforcement officials on Wednesday shared their memories of State Police Senior Trooper Duane Dalton, who died Tuesday after a two-vehicle accident on U.S. 171 in Moss Bluff.

Trooper Sal Messina, who worked with Dalton for 12 years, said he considered the man a good friend and someone who was fun to be around.

Dalton, a native of Virginia, came to Louisiana while in the military. He met his wife here and settled. He was the father of three children, and he coached at baseball camps and headed to Baton Rouge for LSU games whenever he could.

“That’s all he talked about — his family or baseball,” Messina said.

As a senior trooper, he said, Dalton always tried to help other officers on the shift.

“He was quick-witted and very precise at every scene,” Messina said. “He would go to every scene to help the younger troopers.”

Dalton began his law enforcement career with the Lake Charles Police Department in 1993. Sgt. Mark Kraus, one of his training officers, said he quickly noticed Dalton’s integrity and desire to protect people.

To see a slideshow (BY BRAD K. PUCKETT) of Trooper Dalton’s funeral, CLICK HERE.

“He was always eager to learn and help people and just had so much character,” he said. “When we learned he was going to state police, we knew the department as a whole was losing.”

Both Messina and Kraus noted Dalton’s sense of humor, which they said stood in contrast to his imposing 6-foot-4-inch figure.

“When he was out on a scene, working, you could never tell how funny he was,” Messina said. “We cut up a lot.”

In 1995, Dalton joined the state police. In his 14 years as a trooper, he worked in the patrol and gaming divisions.

Visitation will be 11 a.m.-10 p.m. Friday, Jan. 15, at Johnson Funeral Home and from 10 a.m. until his funeral at 2 p.m. Saturday, Jan 16, at Trinity Baptist Church.


January 14, 2010 at 10:23 pm Leave a comment

Deputy arrested on sex charges

*published Nov. 4, 2009

A Calcasieu Parish deputy was fired Tuesday night after his arrest on rape and other sex charges, authorities said.

A woman reportedly contacted the Calcasieu Sheriff’s Office on Oct. 30 and said her juvenile daughter was having sex with David N. Thomas, 40, of 927 Cascio Road in Moss Bluff.

Sheriff Tony Mancuso requested assistance from state police, citing a conflict of interest, according to a statement released by the Sheriff’s Office.

Sheriff’s officials are conducting an independent internal investigation, and Trooper Stephen LaFargue said state police will handle the criminal investigation.

Among the charges Thomas faces are sexual battery and forcible rape.

Information on his career with the Sheriff’s Office — reportedly 19 years — was not available late Tuesday.


November 4, 2009 at 10:23 am Leave a comment

Sulphur home searched in chemical case

*published Oct. 7, 2009


State police and environmental officials on Tuesday searched a home on Brandy Street in Sulphur in their investigation into the August discovery of unmarked chemicals in an abandoned Jeff Davis Parish warehouse.

Trooper Stephen LaFargue said investigators will continue searching the residence today.

Barrels containing the unknown substance were found Aug. 14 in a warehouse just north of Roanoke, near La. 395 and Bryan Road. It was previously owned by United Agriculture Products, which used it to store agriculture chemicals, seed and fertilizer.

LaFargue said at the time of the discovery that a hazardous-materials crew took samples from each container and said the substances posed no immediate threat to the area.


October 7, 2009 at 9:35 pm Leave a comment

2009 DWI arrests on pace to surpass those of ’08

*Sept. 21, 2009

The number of DWI arrests in Southwest Louisiana for 2009 appears likely to surpass 2008’s.

State Police Troop D reported 1,026 impaired-driving arrests as of Sept. 15, 2009, compared to 1,102 for all of 2008. The Troop D area consists of Allen, Calcasieu, Cameron, Beauregard and Jefferson Davis parishes.

The Calcasieu Parish Sheriff’s Office had 356 DWI arrests in 2008 and has 312 arrests so far this year.

Both agencies take proactive approaches when targeting impaired drivers.

Along with regular checkpoints, the Sheriff’s Office uses its Crime Deterrent Unit in its focus on impaired drivers.

The five-man CDU uses computer-generated statistics to target problem areas in the parish, whether for certain types of crimes or high numbers of alcoholrelated accidents. The unit is active on each 12-hour shift and does not answer dispatch calls.

Troop D Capt. Michael Leonards said the increase in arrests could be due to either more people driving while impaired or to the troop getting more troopers.

“DWI arrests are my thing,” Leonards said, explaining that he stresses DWI arrests to his troopers and shift supervisors, who track DWI arrests.

Troop D has conducted or participated in 11 DWI checkpoints that have resulted in 24 arrests.

For a conviction of driving while intoxicated, the driver has to have an in-car breathalyzer device installed in their car for at least a year.

The driver has to pay for its installation and maintenance.

This year, there have been more than 20 fatal crashes in the Troop D area, with five of them confirmed to be drugrelated and seven alcohol-related.

Also, a new law targets drivers who refuse to take sobriety tests. A driver’s license is suspended for one year on the first refusal, and for two years on the second and subsequent refusals.


September 21, 2009 at 6:22 pm Leave a comment