Motorcycle passenger killed, driver arrested in Ponchatoula crash
PONCHATOULA, LA– Shortly before 11:00 pm on Friday, Louisiana State Troopers responded to a fatal crash involving a motorcycle on LA Hwy 445 south of US Hwy 190 in Tangipahoa Parish.
24-year-old Marissa Barrett of Lumberton, MS, was killed in the crash.
36-year-old Dustin Cox of Amite, was arrested and charged with a series of offenses, including vehicular homicide.
according t investigators, the crash occurred as Cox was riding a 1998 Kawasaki ZX750P southbound on LA Hwy 443 a high rate of speed.
A Trooper attempted to stop Cox, but he refused to stop and initiated a pursuit.
Cox eventually turned eastbound onto US Hwy 190, and due to reckless driving behavior by Cox the Trooper stopped pursuing.
A witness observed the motorcycle turn south onto LA Hwy 445, and a short time later the motorcycle was located. Troopers determined that while traveling southbound on LA Hwy 445, Cox sideswiped a southbound 2004 Chevrolet Tahoe.
As a result, the motorcycle left the roadway and struck a ditch embankment ejecting Cox and his passenger Barrett.
Cox and Barrett were transported to a local hospital with serious injuries.
Barrett died from those injuries on Saturday.
Impairment on the part of Cox was suspected, and a toxicology sample was taken for analysis.
Cox was charged with Vehicular Homicide, Operating a Vehicle While Intoxicated, Flight from an Officer, Reckless Operation of a Vehicle, Careless Operation, and Speeding.
The driver of the Chevrolet was properly restrained and was uninjured, and impairment was not a factor.
The investigation is ongoing, and no further information is available at this time.