POSTED: Friday, November 25, 2011 - 10:30am
UPDATED: Monday, November 28, 2011 - 9:04pm
BATON ROUGE, LA (NBC33) — THIS IS AN NBC33 NEWS UPDATE: On Thursday, Nov. 24, blood sample results returned for James T. Watts III. The analysis indicated that Watts’ blood alcohol concentration was over the legal limit at the time of the crash. Watts has been charged with Vehicular Homicide and was booked into the East Baton Rouge Parish Prison. If convicted, he faces up to thirty years in prison.
THIS IS AN NBC33 NEWS UPDATE (09-11-11): Louisiana State Police Troopers arrested James Watts III, 31, of Denham Springs for reckless operation after an investigation revealed he was driving more than two times the speed limit.
ORIGINAL STORY: (09-09-11) -- Louisiana State Police Troop A began investigating a fatal crash this evening shortly before 6:00 p.m. on LA 37 (Greenwell Springs Road) south of LA 408 (Hooper Road).
Troopers’ preliminary investigation revealed that Phillip Abington, 16, of Greenwell Springs was driving a 2001 Honda Civic on Will Avenue when he attempted to make a left turn onto LA 37 northbound and pulled into the path of an on-coming 2005 Chevrolet pickup. The pickup, being driven by James Watts III, 31, of Denham Springs, struck the passenger side of the Honda and ran off the road to the left. The Honda was pushed off the road and came to rest in the ditch along the east edge of the roadway. The pickup struck a tree on the west edge of the roadway and overturned, coming to rest on the driver door.
The East Baton Rouge Parish Coroner’s Office pronounced Abington deceased on the scene. Watts sustained minor injuries and was transported to a local hospital.
Troopers do not suspect alcohol to have played a factor in the crash; however, they have submitted samples of both drivers’ blood to the Louisiana State Police Crime Lab for chemical analysis. The crash remains under investigation, and no charges have been filed at this time.