Troopers were called out to investigate a crash Thursday night on Louisiana Highway 356 near Bearb Road in St. Landry Parish.

When they arrived at the scene they found a car had crashed into a pipe gate and a tree at around 10:30 that night.

Trooper Thomas Gossen says this was a single-vehicle crash. They believe that 45-year-old Wilfredo A. Cruz lost control of his car and ran through a stop sign. He ended up injured at the scene.

Louisiana State Police Patch
KPEL Photo

The man was taken to a local hospital for treatment of severe injuries.

On Friday, Louisiana State Police was notified that Cruz had died from injuries he sustained in the crash.

As is protocol, they took routine toxicology samples that have been sent to the crime lab for analysis.

Cruz was not wearing a seat belt, and the crash remains under investigation.

Louisiana State Police Vehicle
Staff Photo

Gossen says troopers with Louisiana State Police want to remind drivers that the best protection for anyone in a car is to be buckled into a seatbelt. He says the best decision you can make is to always buckle your seat belt.

Officials say your best chance for the best outcome if you are involved in a crash is if you are wearing a seat belt at the time of a crash.

Gossen adds,

....always designate a sober driver, always focus on the task of driving, and always wear a seat belt regardless of seating position. While not all crashes are survivable, taking simple precautions such as these can often mean the difference between life and death.

In 2022, Louisiana State Police investigated 42 fatal crashes that led to 47 deaths.

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