Louisiana State Police

An early morning crash on State Highway 86 claimed the life of an 18-month-old child Friday morning in Iberia Parish.

According to a Louisiana State Police spokesman, the two-vehicle fatal crash on LA 86 near Dumas Judice Road happened around 7:30 a.m. Friday and claimed the life of 18-month-old Coy Percle of New Iberia.

The State Police spokesman said a 2019 Jeep SUV was traveling west on Highway 86. According to a preliminary investigation, Michelle Viator, 30, was driving a 2005 Dodge Durango east on Highway 86 at the same time. 

For reasons still under investigation, the spokesman said Viator lost control of her vehicle as she was negotiating a curve. The Durango crossed into the westbound lane of travel and struck the Jeep head-on. 

An Iberia Parish Coroner’s Office investigator declared Percle, who was a passenger in the Jeep, dead at the scene. Troopers determined he was restrained in a forward-facing child seat the time of the crash.

Due to his age, state law required him to be in a rear-facing seat.

Blood results from both drivers are pending. This crash remains under investigation.

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