Shortly before 7:30 a.m. today, Troopers from Louisiana State Police Troop A began investigating a two-vehicle fatal crash on Hwy 61 south of LA 964 in East Baton Rouge Parish. The crash claimed the life of 11-year-old Wayne Ford of Baton Rouge and resulted in the arrest of 27-year-old Treasure Charles of Gonzales.

The initial investigation revealed the crash occurred as Charles was traveling southbound on US Hwy 61 in a 2020 Hino box truck. At the same time, a 2003 Lexus ES300 was disabled in the southbound lane of US Hwy 61 due to engine failure. Ford was the rear seat passenger of the Lexus. For reasons still under investigation, the box truck struck the rear of the Lexus.

Ford was unrestrained at the time of the crash and sustained fatal injuries. He was pronounced deceased on the scene. The driver and front seat passenger of the Lexus were also unrestrained at the time of the crash and sustained moderate injuries. They were transported to a local hospital for treatment. Impairment is not suspected, but a toxicology sample was obtained from the driver of the Lexus for analysis.

Charles was restrained at the time of the crash and sustained minor injuries.  After being medically cleared, Troopers arrested and booked Charles into the East Baton Rouge Parish Jail for violating  LRS 14:32 Negligent Homicide, LRS 14:39 Negligent Injuring, and  LRS 32:58 Careless Operation. As part of the ongoing investigation, a toxicology sample was obtained from Charles for analysis.

Louisiana State Troopers wish to remind motorists that while not all crashes are survivable, statistics show that the chances of surviving a crash rise significantly when properly restrained.  Making good choices while in motor vehicles such as never driving while impaired, always ensuring every occupant is properly restrained, and avoiding all distractions can often mean the difference between life and death.