Alcohol possible factor in fatality

One man is dead and another is fighting for his life after a crash early Sunday on La. 35, near Noel Road in St. Landry Parish.

Trooper First Class Stephen Hammons said Curtis Wheeler, 31, of Church Point, died in the single-vehicle wreck after he was ejected from a Ford pickup that struck a culvert and rolled over several times.

The accident occurred shortly after 2:45 a.m., Hammons said.

Troopers said they believe Brad Wheeler, 25, of Church Point, was possibly drunk when he was speeding down La. 35 and veered off the right side of the road and into a culvert, Hammons said.

Neither man was wearing a seat belt and both were thrown from the truck, Hammons said. He did not know if the two men were related.

The St. Landry Parish coroner pronounced Curtis Wheeler dead at the scene while Brad Wheeler was taken to a hospital in critical condition, Hammons said.

Troopers submitted toxicology samples to the State Police Crime Lab for analysis, Hammons said.

When Brad Wheeler is released from the hospital, troopers will book him into St. Landry Parish Jail on counts of vehicular homicide, reckless operation and not wearing a seat belt, Hammons said.

The investigation is ongoing.