Man dies in wreck; cellphone distraction suspected

Cellphone use may have contributed to a two-vehicle fatal crash early Saturday on La. 70 in St. Martin Parish that led to the death of a 24-year-old Sulphur man, a State Police spokesman said.

Trooper First Class Stephen Hammons said Charles Parker III died from injuries sustained after his 2003 Range Rover heading south on La. 70 crossed the centerline and struck the side of a northbound 18-wheeler driven by Michael Smith, 50, of Morgan City.

Troopers are unsure why Parker crossed the centerline, though they suspect he may have been distracted by his cellphone, Hammons said.

Parker was not wearing a seat belt and was pronounced dead at the scene, Hammons said. Smith wore a seat belt and sustained minor injuries.

Troopers are unsure if impairment was a factor and submitted toxicology tests to the State Crime Lab for analysis.

The crash remains under investigation.