Impairment Suspected in Fatal Head-On St. Helena Parish Crash

Published 3:45 pm Saturday, April 16, 2022

St. Helena Parish – This morning, shortly after 6:15 a.m., Troopers from Louisiana State Police Troop L began investigating a two-vehicle crash on LA Hwy 16 near Calmes Road in St. Helena Parish. The crash claimed the life of 45-year-old Grace Chandler of Amite City.

The initial investigation revealed that the crash occurred as 28-year-old Nicholas Carter of Denham Springs was westbound on LA Hwy 16 in a 2018 Jeep Compass. At the same time, Chandler was eastbound on LA Hwy 16 in a 2017 Hyundai Elantra. The preliminary findings revealed the Jeep crossed the centerline into the opposing lane, which resulted in the Jeep striking the Hyundai head-on.

Despite being properly restrained at the time of the crash, Chandler sustained fatal injuries. She was pronounced deceased on the scene. Impairment is not expected on the part of Chandler, but a routine toxicology sample was obtained and will be submitted for analysis.

Carter was also properly restrained at the time of the crash and sustained serious injuries. He was transported to a local hospital. Impairment is suspected to be a factor in the crash on the part of Carter. A toxicology sample was obtained from Carter and will be submitted for analysis. This crash remains under investigation and charges are pending.

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. We encourage you to speak with loved ones about these topics. The conversation you have could make all the difference.