ST. LANDRY PARISH, La. (KPEL News) - It was a tragic weekend for a Henderson woman whose late-night drive ended in death just after midnight on Sunday, June 4.

La Hwy 71 near La Hwy 361, google street view
La Hwy 71 near La Hwy 361, google street view

Louisiana State Police say the fatal crash happened on Louisiana Highway 71 north of Louisiana Highway 361 in St. Landry Parish. Investigators say 55-year-old Melissa A. DeJean was driving an SUV north on LA 71 when the vehicle ran off the left side of the road, hit the ditch on the west side, struck an embankment, and overturned, causing her to be ejected.

Unfortunately, investigators say DeJean was not restrained. She was pronounced dead at the scene by the St. Landry Parish Coroner's Office. A toxicology sample was taken as investigators are trying to determine whether impairment was a factor.


Louisiana State Police want to leave you with this message:

Louisiana State Troopers would like to take this opportunity to remind motorists to always make good decisions while operating motor vehicles. Never drive while impaired, fatigued, or distracted, always ensure every occupant is properly restrained, and follow all traffic laws. While not all crashes are survivable, taking simple precautions such as these can often mean the difference between life and death.

This is the 24th fatal crash being investigated by Troop I in 2023. 27 people have died in these crashes.

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