Around 2:30 a.m. Saturday morning, Louisiana State Police Troop G responded to a single vehicle crash on LA 159 just north of LA 2 that claimed the life of a Shongaloo teen.
According to a press release from Troop G, the preliminary investigation revealed a 2003 GMC pick-up truck driven by 19-year-old Shelby Tanner Thomas of Shonglaoo was traveling south on LA 159 at a high rate of speed. After crossing the centerline, the vehicle ran off the road and began to roll-over, Thomas, who was not wearing a seat belt, was ejected from the vehicle. Due to the severity of his injuries, Thomas was pronounced dead at the scene by the Webster Parish Coroner’s office.
Three other occupants were in the vehicle at the time of the crash. They were Hanna Huckaby, 18-years-old of Shongaloo, Hunter Dinkins, 22-years-old of Plain Dealing and Shea Ratliff, 23-years-old of Sarepta. Huckaby was transported to Oschners LSU Medical Center with moderate injuries, Dinkins was transported to Oschners LSU Medical Center with serious injuries, and Ratliff was transported to Minden Medical with moderate injuries. No one in the vehicle was wearing a seat belt, and all occupants were ejected.
Impairment, speed and lack of seat belt usage are all suspected factors in this fatality crash. Toxicology samples were taken and submitted for analysis. This crash remains under investigation.
Louisiana State Troopers wish to remind motorists that always wearing a seat belt, avoiding all distractions, obeying the posted speed limit, avoiding fatigued driving, and not driving while impaired can often mean the difference between life and death.
In 2018, Troop G has investigated 15 fatal crashes resulting in 15 deaths.