LaPlace man charged in fatal crash

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, January 22, 2014

HAMMOND – A LaPlace man has been charged with negligent homicide after his vehicle flew across Interstate 55 and crashed into another vehicle.

At approximately 10 a.m. on Monday morning Louisiana State Police Troop L was notified of a fatality crash on I-55 north near Interstate 12 in Hammond. The crash took the life of 60-year-old Gussie Miller of Independence.  

Preliminary investigation revealed that a 2010 Mercedes 350, operated by LaPlace resident Clifford Durio, 31, was southbound on I-55 near I-12, and a 2007 Ford Fusion, occupied by Miller and front passenger Jerome Miller was northbound on I-55 near I-12.  

While traveling southbound on I-55 at an allegedly unsafe speed, Durio veered right, causing the Mercedes to exit the roadway. Durio then over-corrected while steering back toward the travel lanes and lost control.  

The Mercedes crossed the southbound lanes of I-55, entered the center grass median, and rolled onto its roof. Upon exiting median, the vehicle slide up an embankment and became airborne crossing into the left northbound lane of the interstate. While upside down and airborne the left rear of the Mercedes struck the front left area of the Ford. The upside down Mercedes and upright Ford came to rest in the left lane of I-55 northbound. Miller was transported to North Oaks Hospital with life threatening injuries where she later died. Jerome Miller and Durio were also transported to North Oaks with minor injuries.

Speed was determined to be a major contributing factor on Durio’s part. All parties were restrained. Impairment is not suspected; however, blood samples were collected from both drivers for a toxicological analysis. Those results are pending.

Durio was charged with negligent homicide, negligent injuring, reckless operation, felon in possession of a firearm and driving under suspension.  He was placed under arrest and booked at the Tangipahoa Parish Jail. The crash remains under investigation.