Man killed in car crash

Published 9:04 am Wednesday, September 9, 2015

A Covington man was killed Saturday morning, in a two-vehicle head-on crash in Washington Parish.

Trooper Dustin Dwight of the Louisiana State Police said that Jerry Koppenol, 73, of Covington, was pronounced dead on the scene by the Washington Parish Coroner’s Office, shortly after the 9 a.m. accident. The crash occurred on Louisiana Highway 21, near High Point Drive.

Crash scene investigators were able to determine that a 2014 Ford Travel Van, driven by Nicholas Hatchett, 20, of Covington, was traveling southbound on Highway 21. Hatchett entered the northbound lane in an attempt to pass an unidentified vehicle in a no-passing zone. Simultaneously, a GMC Acadia driven by Brenda Koppenol, 60, of Covington, was traveling northbound on the highway. Dwight said that Koppenol took evasive action and entered the northbound shoulder, in an attempt to avoid Hatchett’s vehicle. The two vehicles collided head-on in the northbound shoulder.

Jerry Koppenol was seated in the front passenger seat of Brenda Koppenol’s vehicle. He was severely injured in the crash and was later pronounced dead on the scene. Brenda Koppenol and three juvenile passengers were moderately injured in the crash and were transported to Northoaks Hospital. Hatchett was critically injured in the crash and was also transported to Northoaks Hospital.

Seat belts and child restraints were properly used by all involved parties, Dwight said. Troopers do not suspect impairment to have been a contributing factor in this crash. Blood samples were obtained and will be sent to the Louisiana State Police Crime Lab for analysis. Charges are pending the outcome of the investigation.