Louisiana State Police Troop F responded to a three-vehicle crash on Louisiana Highway 557 near Dulaney Road that killed 73-year-old Mildred Rawls of West Monroe on Oct. 7 shortly before 2:30 p.m.

The initial investigation revealed a 2006 GMC pickup truck, driven by 45-year-old Donnie Rawls of West Monroe, was traveling southbound on Louisiana Highway 557, approaching a DOTD work crew. While working traffic control, DOTD personnel observed a northbound vehicle that would prevent Rawls from safely passing the work crew and instructed Rawls to stop.

For reasons still under investigation, Rawls initially disregarded DOTD personnel’s traffic-control instructions to stop and attempted to pass the DOTD work crew at the crest of a hill. DOTD personnel ultimately stopped Rawls’ vehicle from passing.

As Rawls attempted to back-up into the southbound travel lane, his vehicle was struck from behind by a 2010 Chevrolet pickup truck. After being struck from behind, Rawls’ vehicle then struck the rear of DOTD’s 2000 International truck. 

Donnie Rawls, who was properly restrained, was not injured in the crash. Mildred Rawls, who was a passenger in the GMC pickup truck, sustained life-threatening injuries and was taken to a local hospital where she was pronounced deceased.

The driver of the Chevrolet pickup truck, identified as 69-year-old Samuel Simpson III, sustained moderate injuries and was transported to a local hospital.

There were no injuries reported from DOTD personnel. The three drivers involved in this crash showed no impairment indicators; however, toxicology samples were obtained and submitted for analysis. This crash remains under investigation.

In 2020, Troop F has investigated 35 fatal crashes resulting in 37 deaths.

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