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Port Barre man dies in crash; impairment suspected

Posted at 2:52 PM, Mar 24, 2019

State Police say a Saturday night crash left a Port Barre man dead and two others injured. Troopers suspect impairment was a factor, and the man who died wasn’t wearing a seat belt, they say.

Troopers responded to the crash around 8:30 p.m., which occurred on La. 1 near La. 1186.

William Gaspard, 44, was driving a Dodge Charger, State Police say. He lost control and crossed the center line, crashing head-on into a pick-up driven by a Lettsworth woman, troopers say. State Police say they suspect impairment was a factor on Gaspard’s part.

Gaspard was transported to a hospital, where he was pronounced dead. The driver of the truck had moderate injuries, and her passenger, 43-year-old Simmesport woman, also sustained moderate injuries. Both were wearing their seatbelts, troopers say.

Routine toxicology tests are pending. The crash remains under investigation.

Troopers say:

Louisiana State Police would like to take this opportunity to remind/inform motorists that properly wearing your seat belt will dramatically reduce your chance of being injured or killed in a crash. We ask you to take one second to “buckle up!” Louisiana law requires that every person in a vehicle, regardless of seating position, always remain buckled up. Not wearing a seat belt remains the leading cause of death in motor vehicle crashes.

Motorists must be reminded that alcohol and other drugs have many effects on the body. Alcohol and other drugs can impair visual ability, alter sense of time and space, impair fine motor skills needed to operate a motor vehicle, and decrease reaction times. Just one drink may cause these effects. Motorists are encouraged to plan ahead and designate a sober driver. Not doing so can have deadly consequences.

Louisiana State Police has zero tolerance for impaired drivers. To report aggressive/impaired driving, call *LSP (*577) from your cellular phone or your local law enforcement agency.