According to investigating Troopers, on October 21, 2012, shortly before 9:00 p.m., 42-year-old Toby Ponville of Pierre Part was driving a 2006 Chevrolet truck north on LA Highway 997. For reasons still under investigation, Ponville traveled off the right side of the roadway and struck 26-year-old Mark Aucoin Jr. of Franklin. Aucoin, who was walking north on the right shoulder prior to being struck, was pronounced dead at the scene. Ponville was not injured in the crash. Troopers indicated they are working to determine if Ponville was restrained when the crash occurred.
Tests performed by Troopers indicated Ponville had a blood alcohol level over the legal limit of .08 grams percent. He was arrested for vehicular homicide and improper lane use and booked into the St. Martin Parish Jail.
This crash remains under investigation.
Troopers remind drivers that impaired driving continues to be a major problem throughout Louisiana. Troopers have seen the number of deaths and serious injuries due to impaired drivers decrease in recent years, there is still work to be done. Troopers will continue to enforce Louisiana’s DWI laws across the state and remain committed to a public education campaign to end impaired driving. Have a plan and designate a driver before you decide to drink.