Impairment and Lack of Seatbelt Use Suspected in Fatal 2-Vehicle Crash on Highway 445 in Louisiana

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Published December 12, 2022

Impairment and Lack of Seatbelt Use Suspected in Fatal 2-Vehicle Crash on Highway 445 in Louisiana

Tangipahoa Parish, Louisiana – Louisiana State Police investigating a fatal two-vehicle crash on Highway 445 that killed 24-year-old Austin Harper. Intoxication is suspected as a factor.

Louisiana State Police reported that Troopers from LSP Troop L began investigating a two-vehicle crash on LA Hwy 445 at Gateway Drive in Tangipahoa Parish soon before 5:00 a.m. on December 11, 2022, according to the Louisiana State Police. Austin Harper, age 24 and from Loranger, Louisiana, was killed in the collision.

The initial investigation found that 31-year-old Justin Scully of Loranger, Louisiana was driving a 2009 GMC Acadia north on LA Hwy 445 when the collision happened. Harper was driving a 2014 Volkswagen Jetta south on LA Hwy 445 at the same time. The GMC crossed the center line into the opposing lane, resulting in a head-on collision with the Volkswagen.

The collision caused fatal injuries to Harper, who was not properly restrained. His death was pronounced at the scene. At this point, Harper’s level of impairment is unknown, but a regular toxicological sample has been collected and will be submitted for study.

At the time of the collision, Scully was properly restrained and suffered severe injuries. He was taken by ambulance to a nearby hospital. Scully’s intoxication is suspected to have had a role in the accident. Scully’s toxicological sample has been collected and will be submitted for analysis. This collision is still under investigation, and charges are forthcoming.

Troopers witness the devastating results of preventable motor vehicle collisions much too frequently, according to LSP. Troopers recommend motorists have a strategy in place prior to consuming alcohol since it can impair visual acuity, lessen fine motor skills, and slow reaction time. Please do not drive under the influence or ride with an impaired driver, and always wear a seatbelt. Louisiana State Police encourages you to discuss these issues with family and friends. The chat you have may make a difference.

A person is innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.