Cloninger suffered fatal injuries as a result of the crash.
Shortly before 5:30 a.m. on August 22, 2019, Louisiana State Police Troop A began investigating a two-vehicle fatal crash on LA Hwy 1 north of LA Hwy 988 in West Baton Rouge Parish. The crash took the life of 74-year-old Thomas Cloninger of Plaquemine.
The initial investigation revealed that the crash occurred as 33-year-old Keandre Hill of Baton Rouge was stopped at a stop sign in the westbound lane of LA Hwy 988 in a 2017 Western Star truck. Hill then proceeded west across the northbound lanes of LA Hwy 1 and came to a stop in the median with the rear of the Western Star still in the northbound lane of LA Hwy 1. At the same time, Cloninger was traveling northbound on LA Hwy 1 in a 2007 Ford F150 and struck the rear of the Western Star.
Cloninger suffered fatal injuries as a result of the crash. Due to vehicle damage, seat belt use on his part is unknown. Impairment is unknown on the part of Cloninger, but a standard toxicology sample was obtained from him for analysis.
Hill was properly restrained and was not injured. He was given a chemical breath test and showed no signs of impairment. He was cited for violating LRS 32:123 Stop Signs & Yield Signs. This crash remains under investigation, and there is no further information at this time.
Louisiana State Troopers wish to remind motorists to always make good decisions while in a motor vehicle. Never drive while impaired, fatigued, or distracted, always ensure every occupant is properly restrained, and follow all traffic laws. While not all crashes are survivable, taking simple precautions such as these can often mean the difference between life and death.
Contributed by La. State Police