Patterson woman dies in Terrebonne Parish crash

GIBSON, La. -- A Patterson woman died when the vehicle she was riding in lost control and struck a tree at about 5:30 a.m. Saturday, a Louisiana State Police news release reported.

The investigation revealed that a 2007 Toyota Rav 4 was traveling west on Dead Wood Road in Terrebonne Parish. The Rav 4 was being driven by Craig Johnson, 46, of Gibson, La. As the Rav 4 traveled west, the vehicle entered a sharp left curve in the roadway. Johnson lost control of the vehicle and traveled off the right side of the roadway where the Rav 4 struck a tree and came to rest. Johnson, who was not wearing a seat belt, had to be extricated from the vehicle by the West Terrebonne Fire and Rescue Team. Johnson was transported to Thibodaux Hospital with moderate injuries. The passenger in the Rav 4, Tina Vazquez, 35, of Patterson, La., was not wearing a seat belt and was thrown forward into the windshield during the crash. Vazquez was pronounced dead on the scene by the Terrebonne Parish Coroner’s Office.

Investigating troopers report that impairment may be a factor in the crash. Blood was taken from Johnson and the test results will be pending at the Louisiana State Police Crime Lab. The crash remains under investigation.

Troopers remind everyone to remain safe on the roads and never get behind the wheel of a vehicle if you have had any alcoholic beverages. While not all crashes are survivable, proper use of seat belts can greatly decrease an occupant’s chance of death and may greatly reduce the extent of injury. Louisiana law requires every vehicle occupant, front seat and back seat, to be properly restrained day or night. Taking the time to buckle up every trip and every time is the single most effective thing you can do to protect yourself in a crash.

Motorists who witness hazardous situations are urged to call *LSP (*577) and report that activity to the Louisiana State Police.

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