Egan – Shortly after 4:00 p.m. on June 30, 2018, Troop I investigated a serious injury crash on Interstate 10 eastbound west of the Egan exit. 46-year-old Lana Hickman of Breaux Bridge sustained critical injuries in the crash and was transported to a local hospital. On July 5, 2018, Troopers were notified by medical personnel that Hickman succumbed to injuries sustained in the crash.
The preliminary investigation revealed that 55-year-old Patrick Stelly of Arnaudville was operating a 2012 Jeep Wrangler eastbound on Interstate 10 approaching Exit 72. For unknown reasons, the Jeep traveled off the right side of the road, entered the median separating I-10 eastbound and Bocage Rd., and overturned. Hickman, a passenger in the Jeep, was not wearing a seat belt and was ejected from the vehicle. She was transported to Lafayette General Hospital in critical condition.
Troopers were initially investigating the possibility that the Jeep was forced to take evasive action from its lane of travel, due to another vehicle moving within hazardous proximity to it. With the assistance of Louisiana State Police Detectives from the Breaux Bridge Field Office, Troopers were able to rule out that another vehicle caused the crash.
Impairment is suspected to be a factor in the crash. A toxicology sample was taken from Stelly and was submitted to the Louisiana State Police Crime Lab for analysis. Stelly was initially cited for LRS 14:98 – Driving while impaired; however, this crash remains under investigation and further charges are pending.
Louisiana State Troopers wish to remind motorists that all occupants of a motor vehicle must be restrained, regardless of seating position. While not all crashes are survivable, statistics show that the chances of surviving a crash rise significantly when properly restrained. Making good choices while in motor vehicles such as never driving while impaired and always ensuring every occupant is properly restrained can often mean the difference between life and death.