Man convicted of injuring teens while driving under influence

Published 7:10 pm Monday, October 31, 2022

A Sabine Parish man has been convicted for seriously injuring two Vernon Parish teenagers while he was driving under the influence.

Ronald Lynn Graves, 54, pleaded guilty to two counts of first-degree vehicular negligent injuring and one count of DWI before Judge Tony Bennett on Oct. 26, in regards to a Jan. 26 collision where Graves struck another vehicle head-on while driving the wrong way on U.S. 171.

According to authorities, Graves was traveling south in the northbound lanes between Anacoco and Hornbeck for several miles before he struck the vehicle occupied by two teenage sisters around 6 p.m.

Authorities said a dash cam recovered from Graves’ vehicle captured the entire incident on video, including Graves narrowly missing other vehicles including one driven by a Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries Enforcement Agent.

Immediately after the collision, Graves was transported to a medical facility where it was determined he was under the influence of alcohol at the time of the accident.

The two teenage victims suffered serious injuries that Vernon Parish District Attorney Terry Lambright said “are still healing and will present life-long challenges for the girls.”

“This is a very tragic situation. The two sisters were driving home to Hornbeck from getting food and did nothing to deserve what happened to them. Their lives have been changed forever. I will continue to do everything I can to make Vernon Parish a safe place for people to live. There are consequences to those who violate the law and harm others,” Lambright said.