Unrestrained Child Killed and a Second Unrestrained Child Seriously Injured in Crash, Impairment Suspected

Published: 05-28-2020 | Category: Troop A

Unrestrained Child Killed and a Second Unrestrained Child Seriously Injured in Crash, Impairment Suspected

East Baton Rouge Parish – On May 27, 2020, just before 7:00 p.m., Troopers from Louisiana State Police Troop A began investigating a single-vehicle, fatal crash on Interstate 10 east of Louisiana Highway 3246. This crash took the life of a 6-year-old child and left another child with life-threatening injuries.

The initial investigation revealed a 2002 Ford Explorer, driven by 35-year-old Anthony Luke of Baton Rouge, was traveling east on Interstate 10 when a rear tire failed. After the tire failed, Luke overcorrected his steering, which resulted in him losing control of his vehicle. The Explorer traveled off the interstate and crashed into several trees. Two unrestrained children were ejected from the vehicle.

Luke, who was properly restrained, sustained moderate injuries and was transported to a local hospital. An unrestrained 5-year-old child sustained life-threatening injuries and was also transported to a local hospital. A second unrestrained child, 6-year-old Toni Cummings of Baton Rouge, was transported to a local hospital with life-threatening injuries where she was later pronounced dead.

Impairment on the part of Luke is suspected to be a factor in this crash. A toxicology sample was obtained and submitted for analysis. This crash remains under investigation.

Louisiana State Police would like to remind all motorists that if you feel differently, you drive differently. Alcohol, prescription drugs, and other drugs have many effects on the body that negatively affect driving skills. These drugs can impair visual ability, alter the sense of time and space, impair fine motor skills needed to operate a motor vehicle, and decrease reaction times. Motorists are encouraged to plan ahead and designate a sober driver. Not doing so can have deadly consequences.

Child safety seats and booster seats offer the best protection for children in the event of a crash. According to the U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), nearly 9,000 lives have been saved by the use of child restraints over the past 30 years. Caregivers need to ensure children are properly restrained in an appropriate child safety seat, booster seat, or seat belt.

Contact Information:
TFC Brent Hardy
Louisiana State Police
Public Affairs Section