Motorcycle passenger killed, driver arrested in Ponchatoula crash

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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.

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