Vidalia woman dies in accident

Published 11:59 pm Friday, August 4, 2017

VIDALIA — A Vidalia woman was killed early Friday in a fiery log truck accident in Vernon Parish.

Louisiana State Police Master Trooper Scott Moreau said Mona R. Manchester, 56, was killed when the log truck her husband was driving lost control and overturned.

Moreau said troopers responded to the accident at approximately 6:25 a.m. The accident occurred on U.S. 171, north of Louisiana 10. The truck was south of Leesville.

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The crash involved a 2007 Freightliner 18 wheeler, loaded with logs, being driven by Allen D. Manchester Jr., 58, of Vidalia.

The Freightliner was in the southbound lane on U.S. 171 when Allen Manchester lost control and exited the right side of the roadway. Moreau said after exiting the roadway, the vehicle collided with a guardrail and then a concrete bridge rail before overturning.

Moreau said the vehicle then became engulfed in flames.

Moreau said Allen Manchester was able to escape the burning vehicle.

His wife, however, was unable to escape the burning vehicle and was pronounced dead on the scene.

Allen Manchester received moderate injuries and was transported to Rapides Regional Trauma Center. Vidalia Mayor Buz Craft said he was told Allen Manchester Jr. was in critical condition.

“I went to the hospital and got to see (Manchester),” he said. “He is in a lot of pain. I ask everyone to pray for him and keep them in your prayers.”

Moreau said troopers were not sure whether or not seat belts were used.

The investigation remains ongoing, with routine toxicology tests pending, Moreau said.

“While not all crashes are survivable, seat belts can greatly decrease the occupant’s chance of death and will greatly reduce the extent of injury,” he said.

Troop E Troopers have investigated 24 fatal crashes in 2017, resulting in 30 fatalities.