Driver arrested in crash that kills pedestrian, injures another

EVANGELINE PARISH - Shortly after 2:30 am on September 29, 2018, Troopers from Louisiana State Police Troop I began investigating a crash involving two pedestrians that resulted in a fatality on LA Hwy 3149 near Parrott Lane in Evangeline Parish. The crash took the life of 24-year-old Michael Fontenot of St. Landry and injured 20-year-old Bo Darbonne of Mamou.
The initial investigation by State Police revealed that the crash occurred as Fontenot and Darbonne were walking northbound near LA Hwy 3149. At the same time, 28-year-old Marla Rushing of Ville Platte was traveling north on LA 3149 in a 2001 Dodge Ram 1500 pick-up truck. For reasons still under investigation, Rushing’s vehicle struck Darbonne who was standing near the roadway. Rushing continued a short distance and then struck Fontenot, who was standing in the northbound lane. Both pedestrians were transported to Savoy Medical Center in Mamou. Darbonne suffered moderate injuries and Fontenot was pronounced dead at the hospital.
Rushing was properly restrained and was not injured. Troopers suspected alcohol as a factor for Rushing, and she submitted to a chemical test which revealed her blood alcohol concentration was 0.144g%. She was arrested and booked into Evangeline Parish jail Vehicular homicide, Vehicular negligent injuring, Operating a vehicle with a suspended license, Expired motor vehicle inspection, and an outstanding warrant out of Lafayette Parish. This crash remains under investigation.
Troopers would like to stress that crashes involving pedestrians can often be avoided by following some basic safety guidelines. Pedestrians should wear light-colored or reflective clothing and should always avoid walking on the roadway in dark areas. Pedestrians must also assume that approaching motorists cannot see them, especially at night. Troopers also wish to remind motorists that impaired driving continues to be a major problem throughout Louisiana. Whether impaired through alcohol, drugs, or a combination of the two, the consequences of driving while impaired remain the same.

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