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State Police: Two-year-old dead, driver arrested in fatal crash - KATC.com | Continuous News Coverage | Acadiana-Lafayette

State Police: Two-year-old dead, driver arrested in fatal crash

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Image Credit: MGN Online Image Credit: MGN Online

A two-year-old died this morning in St. Mary Parish because she wasn't in a car seat and was ejected from the car she was riding in.

State Police say Grace Loustalot, 27, was booked with vehicular homicide in connection with the crash, State Police said. 

Temperence Finister, 2, of Franklin was not in a car seat when the car, driven by Loustalot, ran off the road on La. 82 south of U.S. 90 in Ashton, State Police said. Loustalot is not Finister's mother, state police. 

Loustalot overcorrected, causing the vehicle to slide across both lanes of travel, enter a ditch and overturn. Finister was ejected from the vehicle. She was transported to Franklin Foundation Hospital, where she was pronounced dead, State Police said. Two other children in the car were wearing seatbelts and sustained only minor injuries, police said. Loostalot also was wearing a seat belt and sustained minor injuries, they said. She was treated at Franklin Foundation Hospital. 

Impairment is considered to be a factor in the crash. Toxicology samples were obtained from Loustalot and submitted to the Louisiana State Police Crime Lab for analysis. Troopers transported Loustalot to the St. Mary Parish Jail where she was booked with vehicular homicide, two counts of First degree vehicular negligent injuring, Possession of schedule IV narcotics, No child restraint, Careless operation, and Expired motor vehicle inspection sticker.

The crash remains under investigation.

State Police say: "The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends children 2 years old and younger should be properly restrained in a rear facing child restraint. Children 12 years and younger should always ride in the rear seat. Every occupant in a motor vehicle is required by Louisiana law to be properly restrained in a seat belt or child restraint. 96% of child restraints are installed improperly. Every Louisiana State Police Troop is a grant funded fitting station staffed by nationally certified child safety seat technicians. Each fitting station teaches parents/caregivers how to properly install the child restraint and how to properly buckle the child in the restraint. This service is FREE to the public. Please visit www.LSP.org to find out when your local LSP troop conducts child seat checks. LSP Troop I conducts child seat checks every Wednesday, from 8a-noon at Troop I in Lafayette. No appointment is necessary. Please stop by and see us, you will gain invaluable information that will protect your child in the event you are in a motor vehicle crash."

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