On Thursday, April 20, 2023, shortly after 3:30 p.m., Troopers from Louisiana State Police Troop G began investigating a three-vehicle fatal crash on U.S. Hwy 171 at Hillside Circle. This crash claimed the life of 79-year-old Danny Miller.
The preliminary investigation revealed that a 2016 Chevrolet Silverado, driven by Matthew Spillman of Stonewall, was traveling south on U.S. Hwy 171 approaching three stopped vehicles. One vehicle was a stopped and unloaded school bus with its proper warning devices activated, the second vehicle was a 2018 Ford F-150 stopped in the outside lane behind the school bus, and the third vehicle was a 1977 Ford Bronco, driven by Miller, which was stopped in the inside lane behind the school bus. For reasons still under investigation, Spillman failed to stop for the vehicles and collided with the F-150. After colliding with the F-150, the Silverado collided with the Bronco.
Miller, who was unrestrained, was pronounced deceased on the scene. The driver of the F-150 was properly restrained and was not injured. Spillman, who was properly restrained and not injured, was taken into custody at the crash scene. He was transported to the Desoto Parish Jail and booked for vehicular homicide and careless operation. Impairment is a suspected factor on the part of Spillman. Routine toxicology samples were collected from all drivers and will be submitted for analysis. This crash remains under investigation.
Time and time again, Troopers witness preventable motor vehicle crashes. Impairment and lack of seat belt usage are primary causes of crashes across the state. Louisiana State Police urge motorists to have a plan in place that includes a designated driver when consuming alcohol. Alcohol can impair visual ability, alter the sense of time and space, impair fine motor skills, and decrease reaction times. Alcohol can begin to impair a person’s ability to safely operate a motor vehicle after just one drink. Please choose not to drive impaired or ride with an impaired driver, and always buckle up.
In 2023, Troop G has investigated nine fatal crashes, resulting in nine deaths.