State Police: 2 men killed in separate crashes in Tangipahoa Parish

State Police: 2 men killed in separate crashes in Tangipahoa Parish

TANGIPAHOA PARISH, LA (WAFB) - Louisiana State Police are investigating two fatal crashes in Tangipahoa Parish that happened within 30 minutes of one another Thursday morning.

Officials said the first crash happened on I-12 just east of Pumpkin Center Road in Hammond around 9 a.m.

According to LSP, 68-year-old Bobby Joe Benson, of Winfield, Alabama, was traveling west on I-12 in a 2003 Ford Explorer when the vehicle abruptly swerving left onto the median and crashing into a light pole and cable barrier system.

Benson was transported in critical condition to the local hospital, where he died shortly after arriving.

Investigators said Benson was wearing his seat belt at the time of the crash, and there is no physical evidence the crash itself was the cause of death.

Authorities are looking into Benson's medical history as a possible cause of the accident.

Officials said the second crash happened on LA 38, west of I-55 in Kentwood, after 9:30 a.m.

According to State Police, 64-year-old James Pittman, of Kentwood, was riding a Harley Davidson motorcycle east on LA 38 when a 2015 Chevrolet Malibu that was driving in front of him slowed to turn into a private drive.

Unable to stop his motorcycle, Pittman swerved to the left and hit the left rear of the Malibu. Troopers say Pittman then swerved into the westbound lane and was hit head-on by a 2000 Ford pickup truck.

Pittman was transported to the hospital to treat severe injuries before being pronounced dead.

All of the drivers involved in the accident submitted to a voluntary breathalyzer test, none of which returned any trace of alcohol.

Pittman was wearing a DOT approved helmet at the time of the crash.

State Police Troopers urge drivers to remain alert behind the wheel as crashes can occur under any conditions.

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