On Thursday (August 24, 2023), shortly before 5:30 p.m., Troopers from Louisiana State Police Troop L began investigating a single-vehicle fatal crash on Interstate 12 near LA Hwy 1249 in Tangipahoa Parish. The crash claimed the life of 66-year-old Gene Duncan of Walker.
The initial investigation revealed the crash occurred as 33-year-old Michael Clayton of Holden was driving a 2006 Chevrolet Silverado eastbound on Interstate 12 in a reckless manner. For reasons still under investigation, the Chevrolet traveled off of the roadway before striking a sign and a tree.
Duncan was a passenger in the Chevrolet, and despite being properly restrained, he sustained fatal injuries. He was pronounced deceased at the scene. Clayton and another occupant were both properly restrained and sustained minor injuries. Both were transported to a local hospital for treatment.
Clayton was arrested and booked into the Tangipahoa Parish Jail for the following charges: Negligent Homicide, Reckless Operation, and Operating Vehicle while License is Suspended. As part of the ongoing investigation, a toxicology sample was obtained from Clayton for analysis.
Speeding and aggressive driving continue to be leading causes of fatal crashes. Speeding reduces a driver’s ability to steer safely around curves or objects in the roadway, extends the distance necessary to stop a vehicle, and increases the distance a vehicle travels while the driver reacts to a situation. Troopers would like to remind motorists of the importance of safe decisions behind the wheel. Motorists who observe reckless driving or criminal activity are encouraged to dial 911 or *LSP (*577) to connect with the nearest Louisiana State Police Troop.