According to investigating troopers, on July 10, 2012, at 12:50 hours, 44-year-old Julie Banks of Mamou, was driving a 2002 Ford truck east on LA Highway 104. For reasons still under investigation, Banks exited a left curve and traveled off the right side of the road. After leaving the roadway, Banks’ vehicle struck a tree. Banks, who was wearing a seatbelt, sustained minor injuries and was transported to a local hospital.
Two other juvenile passengers, a 12-year-old female and a 13-year-old boy, were also properly restrained and sustained minor injuries. They were transported to a local hospital for treatment. A third passenger, 11-year-old Alyssa Guillory of Ville Platte, died at the scene as a result of her injuries. She was pronounced dead by the Evangeline Parish Coroner. Troopers indicated Guillory was also properly restrained.
It is unknown if Banks was impaired when the crash occurred; however, routine toxicology samples have been obtained and will be submitted to the Louisiana State Police Crime Lab for analysis.
This crash remains under investigation.
While it is still unknown if impairment was a factor in this crash, troopers remind drivers that impaired driving continues to be a leading cause for fatal crashes throughout Louisiana. While 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.