TANGIPAHOA PARISH, LA (WAFB) - A Livingston Parish man is dead and a Mississippi woman is facing charges following a hit and run crash early Sunday morning, according to investigators.
Louisiana State Police reported Albert Watson, 59, of Denham Springs, was killed in the wreck. Troopers said Deana Collier, 52, of Sandersville, MS, was booked into the Tangipahoa Parish Jail on charges of vehicular homicide and felony hit and run.
Watson was a resource officer at the St. Helena Arts and Technology Academy. The St. Helena Parish School District offered condolences via its Facebook page.
The St. Helena Parish Sheriff's Office also posted about Watson's passing on social media.
Senior Tpr. Dustin Dwight with LSP Troop L said the crash happened on I-12 West near the Tangipahoa Parish-St. Tammany Parish line just before 2 a.m.
He explained the investigation so far shows the 2012 Chevrolet Impala that Watson was driving on I-12 West was rear-ended by a 1998 Toyota Avalon driven by Collier. According to Dwight, the force of the impact pushed Watson's car off the road. He said the car then slammed into a tree and flipped.
Dwight reported Watson did not have on a seat belt and suffered severe injuries in the crash. He added Watson was rushed by ambulance to North Oaks Health Systems where he died shortly after arrival.
According to investigators, Collier kept driving for about a quarter-mile after the collision. They reported she then turned off the car's headlights and called her son. They noted Collier did not make any other calls or try to help Watson. They added she was on the phone with her son when they first found her.
Troopers reported she "performed poorly on a standardized field sobriety test." They added she was also taken to the hospital to be treated for minor injuries. Officials said she was taken to jail after being released from the hospital.
As with all deadly crashes on Louisiana highways, blood samples were taken from both drivers and sent to the Louisiana State Police Crime Lab for analysis.
The crash is still being investigated.