WASHINGTON PARISH, LA (WVUE) - Louisiana State Police are investigating an accident in Washington Parish that left one person dead and five others injured. The incident occurred Saturday, just after 9 a.m. on Highway 21 near High Point Drive.
Police say that 20-year-old Nicholas Hatchett of Covington was driving a van south on Hwy. 21. Hatchett attempted to pass a vehicle in a no-passing zone by entering the north-bound lane. At the same time an SUV, driven by 60-year-old Brenda Koppenol of Covington was traveling north on Hwy 21 in the same vicinity. Koppenol noticed the van in the same lane and attempted to dodge the vehicle by merging onto the shoulder. The vehicles collided head-on in the shoulder, according to police.
Jerry Koppenol, who was the front seat passenger in the SUV was severely injured in the crash and was pronounced dead on the scene. Brenda Koppenol and her three juvenile passengers received moderate injuries. They were transported to North Oaks Hospital in Hammond for treatment. Hatchett was critically injured in the crash and was also transported to North Oaks Hospital for treatment.
Troopers say that everyone involved in the crash was properly restrained. Investigators do not believe that alcohol played a factor in the crash but blood samples were taken and will be analyzed at the Louisiana State Police Crime Lab. Charges are pending the outcome of the investigation.