Impairment suspected in fatal head-on crash in St. Helena Parish

Staff Report

Louisiana State Police Troop L investigated a fatal two-vehicle crash involving a suspected impaired driver on Hwy. 16 near Calmes Road in St. Helena Parish.

The crash claimed the life of 45-year-old Grace Chandler of Amite City.

The Tangipahoa Parish 911 page shared a tribute to Grace Chandler, who died in a crash involving a suspected impaired driver.

According to a news release, the initial investigation revealed 28-year-old Nicholas Carter of Denham Springs was traveling westbound on Hwy. 16 in a 2018 Jeep Compass as Chandler was eastbound on Hwy. 16 in a 2017 Hyundai Elantra. Troopers said the Jeep crossed the centerline into the opposite lane, which caused the vehicles to collide head-on.

Despite being properly restrained at the time of the crash, Chandler sustained fatal injuries. She was pronounced deceased on the scene. Impairment is not expected on the part of Chandler, but a routine toxicology sample was obtained and will be submitted for analysis.

Carter was also properly restrained at the time of the crash and sustained serious injuries. He was transported to a local hospital. Impairment is suspected to be a factor in the crash on the part of Carter. A toxicology sample was obtained from Carter and will be submitted for analysis.

Troopers said the crash remains under investigation and charges are pending.

The Tangipahoa Parish Sheriff's Office shared a post mourning the loss of Chandler who worked on the parish's 911 communications staff.

"Today we mourn the loss of a great friend and devoted servant, who’s life was taken this morning as the result of a crash," the post stated.

"Gracie was a beautiful soul who, to many coworkers, became like a second mom. We share the pain of her loss as many of our communications deputies have worked alongside her. Our hearts go out to the Rohner and Chandler families, the Tangipahoa Parish 911 staff, and all who knew Gracie."