A 17-year-old driver died from injuries he suffered in a single-vehicle accident in Ponchatoula on Tuesday, Tangipahoa Parish Sheriff Danny Edwards reports.
Killed in the 8 a.m. accident was C.J. Stewart of Ponchatoula. The accident occurred on Esterbrook Road.
Stewart was speeding down the road when he lost control of his 2003 Chevrolet truck, Edwards said in a release. After going off the road, Stewart tried to regain control of the truck but ended up recrossing the road with the vehicle ending up overturned in a small canal.
Stewart, who was not wearing a seatbelt at the time of the accident, was ejected from the vehicle and suffered the fatal injuries, the sheriff said. The accident remains under investigation, but the teen is not suspected of being impaired at the time.
Edwards said he and Ponchatoula High School Principal Danny Strickland have tried to monitor the speeding in the vicinity of Ponchatoula High School.
Edwards said most of the speeders are students at the school and deputies have been assigned to that specific detail and are making contact with the students, then hand delivering their information and offenses to Strickland. The principal then gives the student information on the consequences of their actions, which could include the student losing the privilege to drive on campus.
“We will continue in our efforts to work with the school’s administration,” says Edwards. “This tragic event weighs heavy on our hearts. Our thoughts and prayers are with all of those who are suffering at this time.”
Edwards also noted in the release that Louisiana law requires every person in a vehicle, regardless of seating position, to be buckled up. He also said not wearing a seatbelt is the leading cause of death in motor vehicle accidents.