Autopsy results including toxicology are pending on the body of 19-year-old Hayley Howard. She's the UNO student who went missing last weekend, until searchers Wednesday found her vehicle sunken in a body of water off I-10 near Irish Bayou.
It's the latest story about a driver who ran off the road and crashed into a local waterway, that often ends with a fatality. So what can one do to survive such a crash? WWL First News asked Louisiana State Police.
First and foremost, Trooper Melissa Matey says always wear your seatbelt, because hitting the water at speed is just like crashing into a solid object.
"You have to remain conscious. By wearing that seatbelt, your chances of surviving that crash are significantly better," Matey said.
Then keep your cool. If your windows still work, roll them down immediately. If not, wait until the car has filled with water -- this will equalize water pressure and allow you to open the car door.
Trooper Matey says state police recommend getting a window punch/seat belt cutting tool, commonly available at hardware or auto parts stores.
"They're able to cut their seatbelts and the window punch allows them to punch that window and get out of the car safely," said Matey.
If you have to smash your way out of a vehicle, go for the rear window or side windows. Car windshields are shatter-proof.