Passenger Dies in Richland Parish Crash

DELHI, La - An unrestrained passenger dies after the vehicle she was in was struck and overturned several times.

Shortly after 5:45 p.m. on Saturday, November 11, 2017, Louisiana State Police Troop F responded to a two-vehicle crash on Interstate 20 approximately 3 miles west of Delhi.  The preliminary investigation revealed a 1999 Ford Explorer, driven by 61-year-old Larry Copes of Delhi, was traveling east on I-20 when it was struck in the rear by a 2007 Cadillac CTS, driven by 30-year-old Laquita Miles of Monroe.  After impact the Explorer traveled off the road and began to overturn.  

An unrestrained passenger in the Explorer, 60-year-old Rhonda Copes of Delhi, was ejected and pronounced dead on scene by the Richland Parish Coroner’s Office. Miles, who was properly restrained, was injured and taken to a local hospital for injuries.     

Routine toxicology samples were obtained and will be submitted for analysis. The crash remains under investigation.

Troopers wish to remind motorists of the importance of seatbelt use. Louisiana law requires that every person in a motor vehicle, regardless of seating position, always remain buckled up. Statistics show that the chances of surviving a violent crash rise significantly when properly restrained. Taking the time to buckle up before every trip is the single most effective thing you can do to protect yourself in a crash.

In 2017, Troop F has investigated 31 fatal crashes resulting in 32 deaths.


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