Passenger in vehicle being driven by impaired driver dies in crash

Friday, April 5, 2013 - 11:00am

A 21-year-old man died last night in a crash after the driver of the car he was riding in failed to stop at an intersection. The driver of the vehicle was allegedly intoxicated.

The Louisiana State Police reports that Harold Arnold, 21, of Duson was a passenger in a vehicle being driven by Gerard Richard, 29. Officials say Arnold was not wearing a seatbelt at the time of the crash.

According to reports, Richard was driving down West Congress Street in Lafayette shortly before 11:00 p.m. on Thursday, April 4. Richard, who was reportedly intoxicated, failed to stop at a two-way stop sign and slammed into a truck being driven by a 60-year-old man.

The driver of the vehicle that was struck was wearing a seatbelt and did not sustain any injuries.

Richard, however, was not wearing a seatbelt and he sustained moderate injuries. Two passengers in the car, including Arnold, were also unrestrained. The second passenger had minor injuries.

Richard was arrested and charged with Failure to Stop at a Sign, Vehicular Homicide, Vehicular Negligent Injury, Open Alcohol Container and Suspended Driver’s License. He was booked into the Lafayette Parish Correctional Center.

Impairment and a lack of seat belt use continue to be the leading factors in fatal crashes in the Troop I area. So far this year, Troop I has investigated 19 fatal crashes resulting in 23 fatalities. Troopers remind occupants that while wearing a seat belt will not save you in every crash; however, research shows that it can greatly reduce your risk of injury in a crash.

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