AMITE – A Denham Springs woman died Friday, Feb. 24, after her car hit a bulldozer being moved on Interstate 55, according to Louisiana State Police.

State Trooper Dustin Dwight, public affairs officer with Troop L, identified the victim as Deanna Lawson, 55, of Denham Springs.

Troopers cited the driver of the bulldozer, James Lockhart, 48 of Galliano, for careless operation, Dwight said.

Troop L officers responded at 6:30 p.m. Feb. 24 to a two-vehicle crash on I-55 northbound near Amite, he said.

Lockhart was attempting to move a Caterpillar DC5K bulldozer from the center median to a “lowboy” semi-trailer, parked on the right northbound shoulder of Interstate 55, the state trooper said.

At the time of the crash, the location was not an active construction site and there were no warning signs for oncoming traffic, Dwight said.

As Lockhart entered the right northbound lane, Lawson, driving a 2007 Saturn Ion, hit the bulldozer on the right side, he said, The Saturn Ion sustained total damage to its front end.

Despite being properly restrained, Lawson suffered fatal injuries in the crash, the state trooper said. She was pronounced dead at the scene by the Tangipahoa Parish Coroner’s Office.

Impairment is not suspected to have been a factor in this crash, Dwight said, but as part of the investigation, blood samples were obtained from Lawton and will be sent to the State Police Crime Lab for analysis.

Lockhart provided troopers with a voluntary breath sample, which showed no amount of alcohol present, Dwight said.

The investigation is ongoing and any additional findings will be forwarded to the Tangipahoa Parish District Attorney’s Office, he said.


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