A four-vehicle accident Wednesday morning in Carlyss resulted in the death of a Calcasieu Parish Sheriff’s Office deputy and the injury of three others.
At around 8 a.m. Wednesday, troopers with the Louisiana State Police responded to the crash site on Louisiana Hwy 1256 (also known as Hwy 27) at its intersection with Red Rose Drive in Carlyss, one mile south of Sulphur. According to the LSP, a 2003 Ford Focus driven by Charles W. Harrell, 28, of Carlyss, was traveling south on the highway when, for some unknown reason, he crossed the center line. The Focus collided head-on with a northbound 2007 Ford Taurus being driven by CPSO deputy Randall L. Benoit, 41, of Sulphur.
After the initial impact, a 2004 Dodge Stratus, driven by Michelle M. LeBlanc, of Sulphur, rear-ended the Ford Taurus. The Stratus then veered into the southbound lane and hit a 2003 Dodge pickup truck driven by Cody Goodner, 42, of Sulphur.
Benoit, who was reportedly not wearing a seat belt, was transported to an area hospital where he died later that morning. The 18-year veteran of the Sheriff’s Office was on-duty at the time of the crash. He worked in the Civil Division.
“Our hearts are heavy this morning with the passing of Randy,” said Calcasieu Parish Sheriff Tony Mancuso. “He was a great asset to our department and will be sorely missed. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family at this most difficult time.”
Harrell was also reportedly not wearing a seat belt. He suffered serious injuries, and as of Wednesday, was in critical condition at an area hospital. Officials state that he will be cited for driving left of center and for no seat belt.
The other two drivers, LeBlanc and Goodner, were both wearing their seat belts, and each sustained minor injuries, according to the LSP.
Routine toxicology samples were obtained from the drivers and will be submitted to the Louisiana State Police Crime Lab for analysis. The crash remains under investigation and additional charges are possible.
This is the sixth fatal crash investigated by Troop D in 2012.