- Associated Press - Saturday, January 31, 2015

VILLE PLATTE, La. (AP) - A Duson man is accused of killing a Ville Platte woman while driving drunk, six hours after he was released on earlier charges of driving while intoxicated.

Louisiana State Police said 47-year-old Michael Fontenot was driving east on Louisiana 3042 in a 1999 Ford van about 5:30 p.m. Friday when he hit 52-year-old Arleen Soileau, who was driving a 2008 Mazda MX6. Police said Fontenot crossed the center line near Lincoln Road and hit Soileau nearly head on.

Neither driver was wearing a seat belt. Soileau died at the scene, while Fontenot was taken by helicopter to Rapides Regional Medical Center in Alexandria for treatment of moderate injuries. He remained hospitalized Saturday.

Troopers said they believe Fontenot was impaired by alcohol, in part because they found an open container of alcohol in the car, and they’ve charged him with vehicular homicide. Fontenot had been arrested by Ville Platte police Thursday for driving while intoxicated, careless operation of a vehicle and having an open alcoholic container, and was released on bond from the city jail about six hours before the Friday crash.

In addition to vehicular homicide, troopers have charged Fontenot in the Friday wreck with reckless operation, crossing the center line, having an open alcoholic container, not wearing a seat belt and driving with an expired license and no insurance. They said they will take him to the Evangeline Parish Jail after he’s released from the hospital.

Toxicology samples were taken from both drivers and the investigation continues.


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