Friday (November 18, 2022) night, shortly before 6:30 p.m., Troopers from Louisiana State Police Troop L began investigating a two-vehicle crash on LA Hwy 22 near Helen Drive in St. Tammany Parish. The crash claimed the life of 51-year-old Petrina Lae of Covington.
The initial investigation revealed that the crash occurred as a 2019 Jeep Cherokee, driven by 35-year-old Roy Keys III of Covington was traveling westbound on LA Hwy 22. At the same time, a 2018 International tow truck was traveling eastbound on LA Hwy 22. The preliminary findings revealed Keys III crossed the centerline into the opposing lane, which resulted in the Jeep striking the front of the International.
Lae was in the front right passenger seat of the Jeep. Despite being properly restrained, she sustained fatal injuries as a result of the crash and was pronounced deceased on the scene. The driver of the International was properly restrained and was not injured. The driver of the International was not suspected of being impaired and voluntarily submitted to a chemical breath test, which showed no alcohol detected. At this time, it is unknown whether Keys III was restrained. Keys III was not injured.
Impairment is suspected to be a factor in the crash on the part of Keys III. Troopers arrested and booked Keys III at the St. Tammany Parish Jail for Vehicular Homicide, DWI (2nd Offense), Operating a vehicle while under suspension for certain prior offenses, and Driving Left of Center. A routine toxicology sample was obtained from Keys III and submitted for analysis. This crash remains under investigation.
Far too often, Troopers see the tragic consequences of preventable motor vehicle crashes. Troopers urge motorists to have a plan in place before consuming alcohol as it can impair visual ability, diminish fine motor skills, and decrease reaction times. Please choose never to drive impaired or ride with an impaired driver, and always buckle up. The conversation you have could make all the difference.