On June 19, 2022, shortly after 12:00 pm, Troopers with Louisiana State Police Troop A began investigating a single vehicle crash on LA 427 near Bayou Manchac in Ascension Parish. The crash ultimately claimed the lives of 16-year-old Caroline Smith and 16-year-old Chloe Hamilton of Prairieville.
The initial investigation revealed that Smith was driving a 2008 Chevrolet Impala on LA 427. For reasons still being investigated, Smith failed to negotiate a right curve, exited the roadway to the right, entered through a gravel shoulder, and struck a tree. After impact with the tree, the vehicle vaulted into a private pond and became fully submerged.
Smith and Hamilton were both pronounced deceased on the scene. It is unclear whether seatbelt use is a factor in the crash. This crash remains under investigation.
The difficult assignment of death notification continues to be one of the hardest elements of the Law Enforcement profession. Notification is made even more difficult when the outcome is preventable. Please take a moment to put your safety and the safety of your loved ones ahead of everything else. Aside from sound decision-making behind the wheel, speak to your family and friends about the consequences of impaired driving. Remind them that putting on a seatbelt greatly reduces their risk of being killed or seriously injured in a crash. Speak to them about the dangers of distracted driving. The conversations you have today could make a world of difference tomorrow.