Suspected impaired driver dies after crashing into house during - WAFB 9 News Baton Rouge, Louisiana News, Weather, Sports

Suspected impaired driver dies after crashing into house during police chase


An Independence, LA man died Tuesday afternoon after a police chase that ended with the vehicle crashing into a house.

Louisiana State Police say just after after 3:30 p.m. Tuesday afternoon, troopers were called to help the Amite Police Department with a fleeing vehicle traveling west on LA 16 in Tangipahoa Parish. 

The fleeing vehicle, a 2005 Ford Focus, turned onto LA 1046 continuing westbound at a high rate of speed. "Upon turning onto LA 1046, the pursuing Amite Police Department unit lost sight of the Focus and terminated the pursuit," officials stated in a news release.

The investigation revealed the vehicle drove about 300 feet off of the paved roadway and crashed into the support columns of a raised house near the intersection of LA 1046 and LA Hwy. 441 in St. Helena Parish. Reports say the driver did not stop at the intersection and drove across both lanes of La 441, continuing off the roadway, striking the house.

The driver has been identified as 30-year-old Benjamin Zanders Jr. of Independence, LA. 

Troopers say Zanders was not wearing a seat belt at the time of the crash and was pronounced dead at the scene by the St. Helena Parish Coroner's Office. Impairment is also suspected to be a factor in the crash pending the results of a toxicology analysis.

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