Toddler killed in Tangipahoa Parish crash

Published 2:41 pm Friday, September 16, 2022

Hammond – On September 14, 2022, shortly after 7:15 a.m., Troopers from Louisiana State Police Troop L began investigating a two vehicle crash on Interstate 12 near Pumpkin Center Road in Tangipahoa Parish. The crash claimed the life of 1-year-old Benjamin DeLaune of Livingston.

The initial investigation revealed that the crash occurred as a 2006 GMC Sierra, driven by 28-year-old George Johnson of Kentwood, was eastbound on Interstate 12 in the left lane. At the same time, a 2019 Hyundai Elantra was eastbound on Interstate 12 directly in front of the GMC. For reasons still under investigation, the GMC struck the rear of the Hyundai.

Despite Benjamin DeLaune being properly restrained in a rear-facing child seat, he sustained serious injuries as a result of the crash. He was transported to a local hospital where he ultimately succumbed to his injuries on September 15th.  The driver of the Hyundai was properly restrained and sustained moderate injuries. The driver was transported to a local hospital. Johnson was properly restrained and sustained minor injuries. As part of the ongoing investigation, toxicology samples were obtained from both drivers for analysis. This crash remains under investigation and Troopers will forward their findings to the Tangipahoa Parish District Attorney’s office for consultation of criminal and/or traffic violations pending the completion of the investigation.

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Troopers wish to remind motorists to always make good decisions while in a motor vehicle. Never drive impaired, fatigued or distracted, follow all traffic laws and always ensure every occupant is properly restrained. While not all crashes are survivable, taking simple precautions such as these can often mean the difference between life and death. Please speak to your loved ones about the importance of safe decisions while driving.

If you have questions about your child’s seat or just want to make sure your seat is installed correctly, please visit Troop L. Troop L is a nationally recognized Child Seat Fitting Station. Certified car seat technicians are available every Tuesday from 2:00 p.m. until 5:00 p.m. at 2600 North Causeway Blvd. in Mandeville, no appointment needed.