Impaired Driver Arrested in Fatal Head-On Tangipahoa Parish Crash

Published 12:27 pm Friday, February 18, 2022

Ponchatoula – This morning, shortly after 3:00 a.m., Troopers from Louisiana State Police Troop L began investigating a two-vehicle crash on LA Hwy 22 west of I-55 in Tangipahoa Parish. The crash claimed the life of 73-year-old William Deal, Jr. of Ponchatoula.

The initial investigation revealed that the crash occurred as 24-year-old Kane Burns of Ponchatoula was traveling westbound on LA Hwy 22 in a 2004 Jeep Wrangler. At the same time, Deal Jr. was traveling eastbound on LA Hwy 22 in a 2015 Toyota Tacoma. The preliminary findings revealed Burns crossed the centerline into the opposing lane, which resulted in the Jeep striking the Toyota head-on.

Deal Jr. was unrestrained at the time of the crash; and sustained serious injuries. Deal Jr. was transported to an area hospital where he was later pronounced deceased. Impairment is unknown on the part of Deal Jr., but a routine toxicology sample was obtained from him and will be submitted for analysis. Burns was properly restrained at the time of the crash and sustained moderate injuries.

Impairment is suspected to be a factor in the crash on the part of Burns. Troopers arrested and booked Burns at the Tangipahoa Parish Jail for violating LRS 14:32.1 Vehicular Homicide, LRS 14:98.2 DWI (2nd Offense), and LRS 32:71 Driving Left of Center. A toxicology sample was obtained from Burns and will be submitted for analysis. This crash remains under investigation.

Far too often, Troopers see the tragic consequences of preventable motor vehicle crashes. Troopers urge motorists to have a plan in place before consuming alcohol as it can impair visual ability, diminish fine motor skills, and decrease reaction times. Please choose never to drive impaired or ride with an impaired driver, and always buckle up. The conversation you have could make all the difference.