Let this story be a reminder that if you are ever feeling tired or sleepy behind the wheel, please pull over.

Shortly after midnight, Louisiana State Police troopers responded to a horrible scene on Interstate 10 eastbound near mile post 114 between Breaux Bridge and Henderson in St. Martin Parish. A Ford Fusion had struck a guardrail on the right side of the interstate, causing damage to the passenger door. But, what's much worse, is that 25-year-old Karalan Hayes of Lake Charles was in the passenger's seat and eventually died at the hospital from her injuries.

Investigators say Austin Lee of Lake Charles was driving along I-10 when investigators believe driver fatigue may have become a factor as he went off the roadway and into the guardrail. A toxicology sample was taken from Lee for analysis but troopers do not believe impairment was a factor. He has been cited for careless operation. Lee suffered only minor injuries.

The boy with them was not injured.

Everyone was restrained at the time of the crash, which is still being investigated.

State Police want to leave you with this message as troopers just want you to be as safe as possible while out on the roads:

Louisiana State Troopers wish to remind motorists to never driving while fatigued. If you find yourself sleepy behind the wheel, strategies such as pulling off the road to take a short nap or drinking a caffeinated beverage may help. For more information on the dangers associated with drowsy driving and how to combat the issue please visit https://www.nhtsa.gov/risky-driving/drowsy-driving

Troop I has investigated 36 fatal crashes resulting in 41 deaths in 2022.

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Fighting Fentanyl: Huge Arrests Made Across Acadiana in 2022

The fight against fentanyl is a daunting one as the highly potent drug continues to take lives every day across the country. From Lafayette to the surrounding areas, law enforcement agencies have their hands full as they fight to get fentanly off their respective streets.

The awareness for the fatal causes of fentanyl are there as people across the Acadiana area (and the state) are not only mourning the death of loved ones lost to the substance but are holding memorials and recently worked with legislators to pass "Millie's Law," which increases criminal penalties for those who sale and distribute fentanyl.

Fentanyl has become a leading drug in an epidemic that takes over 100,000 lives each year, according to the CDC. The drug is often added to heroin without it being disclosed to the person buying the drug. The U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency outlines how dangerous fentanyl has become:

"Fentanyl is a synthetic opioid that is 80-100 times stronger than morphine. Pharmaceutical fentanyl was developed for pain management treatment of cancer patients, applied in a patch on the skin. Because of its powerful opioid properties, Fentanyl is also diverted for abuse. Fentanyl is added to heroin to increase its potency, or be disguised as highly potent heroin. Many users believe that they are purchasing heroin and actually don’t know that they are purchasing fentanyl – which often results in overdose deaths. Clandestinely-produced fentanyl is primarily manufactured in Mexico."

Let's take a look back at headline-catching cases involving fentanyl in 2022.

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