Louisiana: Troopers Investigate Fatal Wreck: driver not at fault but was still intoxicated…but he did have his seat belt on and stayed at a Holiday Inn Express…

Metairie, LA – According to the Louisiana State Police, shortly after midnight on July 17th, 2011, Louisiana State Police Troop B investigated a two vehicle fatal crash on U.S. 61 (Airline Hwy.) at its intersection with Bellevue Parkway in Jefferson Parish.
The crash occurred as a 2001 Lincoln Continental, driven by Mike Chase (B/M age 31) of Kenner, LA, was traveling south on Airline Highway. As the Lincoln proceeded southbound, a 2005 Ford Taurus attempted to cross the southbound lanes of Airline Highway from Bellevue Parkway turning directly into the path of the Lincoln. Upon crossing the southbound lanes, the Taurus was impacted on its right passenger side by the front end of the Lincoln Continental.
The driver of the Ford Taurus, Rae Ann Morgan (B/F age 53) of New Orleans, LA, received fatal injuries as a result of the crash and was pronounced dead at the scene by the Jefferson Parish Coroner’s Office. She was wearing a seatbelt at the time of the crash and impairment is unknown at this time pending the results of a toxicology exam.
Chase was wearing at seatbelt at the time of the crash and received minor injuries. Upon submitting to a breath alcohol test, Chase registered over the legal limit and was subsequently placed under arrest for DWI.
Police say that whether found to be at fault or not in a crash, impaired drivers involved in a fatal or serious injury crash can face serious consequences in addition to a DWI charge. The effects of alcohol on the body can include diminished visual ability, lack of fine motor skills needed to operate a motor vehicle, and decreased reaction times. The consequences of drinking and driving can be costly no matter how many drinks you have consumed. Troopers would like to remind motorists to drive safely, never get behind the wheel impaired, and never get into a vehicle with an impaired driver.