Impaired Driver Strikes and Kills Sterlington Police Officer on US Highway 165
Sterlington, LA—One Sterlington Police Officer was killed and two others injured this morning after an impaired driver struck one of their police cars.
Shortly before 5:00 a.m. on July 3, 2016, Troopers assigned to Louisiana State Police Troop F responded to a fatality crash on US Highway 165 approximately 2 miles south of Louisiana Highway 134 that involved a Sterlington Police Officer.
The initial investigation by State Police revealed three Sterlington Police Officers were conducting a traffic stop on the southbound shoulder of US Hwy 165. Officer David Elahi was standing between the fog line and the rear of his vehicle interviewing a subject when he was struck by a 2014 GMC Sierra driven by 44-year-old Tracy Govan of Monroe, LA. Due to Govan being impaired his vehicle crossed the fog line striking Elahi and two other Officers who were also on scene.
Officer Elahi was pronounced dead at the scene by the Ouachita Parish Coroner’s Office. The other two officers involved were taken to a local hospital with non-life threatening injuries.
At the time of the crash, Govan was determined to be impaired. Govan was arrested and charged with vehicular homicide, vehicular negligent injury, improper lane usage and failure to move over for emergency vehicle on the shoulder.
“Our thoughts and prayers go out to Officer Elahi’s family and the Sterlington Police Department during this time of grief,” said Louisiana State Police Superintendent Colonel Mike Edmonson. “This is a tragedy that could have been avoided.”
This is the second incident in the past two days on Louisiana highways involving a law enforcement officer being struck. A Louisiana State Trooper was struck on I-55 on Friday and suffered injuries while directing traffic around a stalled vehicle.
This is a reminder to everyone to please obey the “Move Over” law! If you see an emergency vehicle stopped on the shoulder with its emergency lights activated, please reduce your speed and change lanes to give first responders room to operate safely. Following this law will help keep first responders safe while they are assisting others on our highways.
Louisiana State Troopers wish to remind motorists that impaired driving continues to be a major problem throughout Louisiana this is especially true on holiday weekends like 4th of July. Whether impaired through alcohol, drugs, or a combination of the two, the consequences of driving while impaired remain the same. Making good choices while in motor vehicles such as never driving while impaired, always ensuring every occupant is properly restrained, and avoiding all distractions can often mean the difference between life and death.
In 2016, Troop F has investigated 19 fatal crashes resulting in 20 deaths.