Two Killed in Claiborne Parish Crash, Distracted Driving Suspected Factor

Claiborne Parish – Earlier this evening, just before 6:00 p.m., Troopers assigned to Louisiana State Police Troop G began investigating a two-vehicle fatal crash on U.S. Hwy 79, south of Holly Springs Road.  This crash claimed the life of 27-year-old Matthew Rushing, of Keithville, and 31-year-old Jessie Watts, of Minden.

The initial investigation revealed that a 2017 Chevrolet Cruz, driven by Rushing, was traveling southbound on U.S. Hwy 79.  At the same time, a 2013 Toyota Camry, driven by Watts, was traveling northbound on U.S. Hwy 79.  For reasons still under investigation, the Chevrolet crossed the centerline and collided head-on with the Toyota.

Although Rushing was wearing his seat belt, he suffered fatal injuries as a result of the crash.  Watts, who was not wearing her seat belt, suffered fatal injuries.

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

Troopers urge motorists to avoid all distractions while driving, such as cell phones, eating and drinking, or anything else that can divert your attention from the road. Also, while not all crashes are survivable, by buckling your seat belt you greatly increase your chance of survival if you are involved in a crash.

In 2021, Troop G has investigated 12 fatal crashes, resulting in 13 deaths.

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