Marthaville man killed in ATV crash

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A Marthaville man was found dead in an all-terrain vehicle crash on a trail near Marthaville in west Natchitoches Parish Tuesday, July 9. NPSO 911 Communications Center received a 911 call at 5:06 p.m. from an individual reporting that while riding on a trail off Preston Hayes Road near Marthaville he discovered the body of a deceased male trapped under an ATV and requested assistance.

NPSO deputies, Natchitoches Regional Medical Center EMS and Natchitoches Parish Fire Protection District #7 responded to the scene. Shortly after units arrived, they requested the Natchitoches Parish Coroner’s Office.

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The preliminary investigation revealed Timmy Lopez, 54, of the 100 block of Cotton Road, Marthaville, was operating a 2006 Honda Rancher 350 ATV on a trail off Preston Hayes Road when he apparently hit a ravine causing the ATV to roll down an embankment.

The ATV rolled over and came to a rest on top of Lopez causing fatal injuries. Lopez was pronounced dead at the scene by Natchitoches Parish Deputy Asst. Coroner Steven Clanton. Lopez was not wearing a helmet and alcohol is believed to be a contributing factor in the crash due to evidence collected at the scene.

Lopez was last seen riding the ATV Saturday, July 6, however he had not been reported missing to the Natchitoches Parish Sheriff’s Office. Natchitoches Parish Fire District #7 assisted at the scene with their Argo, an amphibious all-terrain vehicle that can travel through rugged terrain and water.

Deputies remind the public that although we live in the country and most of us have ATVs, always drive carefully, wear helmets and never drink alcoholic beverages while operating an ATV. ATV crashes normally result in severe injuries or death. Next of kin has been notified. Sgt. J. McDonald investigated the crash.