On May 10, 2020, shortly before 9:00 p.m., Troopers from Louisiana State Police Troop D responded to a two-vehicle, crash on US Hwy 90 at Cappo Road in Calcasieu Parish. The crash ultimately resulted in the death of 64-year-old Michael Jeffery Carter of Westlake.
The preliminary investigation revealed a 2011 Chrysler 300, driven by 38-year-old Derrick James Bertrand of Iowa was traveling west on US 90 when he crossed the center line into the opposing lane. At the same time, a 2011 Buick SUV, driven by Carter, was traveling east on US 90 and was struck head-on by the Chrysler.
Carter, who was properly restrained at the time of the crash, was transported to an area hospital with non-life threatening injuries. Bertrand, who was not restrained, sustained moderate injuries and was transported to an area hospital. The passenger in Carter’s vehicle was properly restrained and was not injured. Toxicology samples were obtained from both drivers and submitted for analysis. At the time of the crash, Carter was arrested for DWI first offense. Bertrand was arrested for DWI third offense, vehicular negligent injuring, operating a vehicle while under suspension for certain prior offenses, driving left of center, suspended driver’s license, no seat belt, open container, illegal window tint, and no insurance. Additional charges are possible and the crash remains under investigation.
On May 19, 2020, Troop D was notified that Carter had succumbed to his injuries sustained during the crash.
Time and time again, Troopers witness preventable motor vehicle crashes such as this one. Whether by alcohol or narcotics, nearly half of the fatal crashes in Louisiana are caused by impaired drivers. Louisiana State Police urge motorists to have a plan in place that includes a designated driver when consuming alcohol.
Troop D has investigated 13 fatal crashes resulting in 15 deaths in 2020.
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