DENHAM SPRINGS -- Two unrelated crashes near Denham Springs and Killian resulted in the deaths Tuesday of a Denham Springs woman and Ponchatoula man, Louisiana State Police said.
Driver impairment is suspected in both cases, said Trooper Taylor Scrantz, Troop A spokesman.
Scrantz identified the victims as Donna Ray, 59, of Denham Springs, and Jeffery Crayton, 50, of Ponchatoula.
“Time and time again, troopers witness preventable motor vehicle crashes such as this one,” Scrantz said. “Whether by alcohol or narcotics, nearly half of the fatal crashes in Louisiana are caused by impaired drivers.”
“Louisiana State Police urge motorists to have a plan in place that includes a designated driver when consuming alcohol.”
The first crash, involving Ray, occurred shortly before 3 p.m. on La. 16 north of 4-H Club Road (La. 1032), he said.
Todd Green, 45, of Denham Springs was driving a 2005 Ford F150 northbound on La. 16, he said, while Ray was southbound on La. 16 in a 2006 Toyota Camry.
For reasons still under investigation, Green crossed the center line and the Ford struck the Toyota head-on, Scrantz said.
Ray was properly restrained but sustained serious injuries and was transported to Our Lady of the Lake Regional Medical Center in Baton Rouge, where she died of her injuries, he said.
Green was also restrained and sustained moderate injuries. He was transported to Oschner Medical Center in Baton Rouge for treatment.
Impairment is suspected on the part of Green, and a toxicology sample was taken from him to be submitted to the Louisiana State Police Crime Lab for analysis, Scrantz said.
Impairment is not suspected on the part of Ray, but a toxicology sample was obtained for analysis, he said.
When Green is released from the hospital, he will be booked into the Livingston Parish Detention Center on vehicular homicide, driving while intoxicated, resisting an officer, driving under suspension, open container, and improper lane usage, Scrantz said.
This crash remains under investigation, he said.
The second crash occurred at 4 p.m. on La. 22 south of La. 444.
Crayton was driving a 2007 Chrysler Aspen westbound on La. 22 when the Aspen crossed the center line and ran off the roadway to the left, Scrantz said.
The vehicle then entered a ditch and struck a tree bordering the roadway.
Crayton was properly restrained but was pronounced deceased on scene by the Livingston Parish Coroner’s Office.
Impairment is suspected on the part of Crayton, and a toxicology sample was obtained and submitted to the State Police Crime Lab for analysis.
The crash also remains under investigation, he said.