Video evidence prompted LSP to reverse report on drunken crash involving former Franklinton officer

Published: May. 4, 2023 at 5:38 PM CDT
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NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) - Surveillance video of a suspected drunken crash involving a former police officer that put a 23-year-old man in a coma prompted Louisiana State Police to take a second look at the initial police report filed.

Seth Klaare’s father, Joost, said he was shocked to receive a police report claiming that his son was at fault, and it was only after he heard about empty beer cans at the scene that he sought out a nearby convenience store owner who showed him video evidence of the incident. The footage led LSP to change its initial report, revealing that the former Franklinton police officer, Leonard Holloway, was the one who crossed the center line and collided with Klaare’s truck.

“If [Seth] would have recovered and not had a memory of this accident, he would always believe that he caused a horrible accident,” Joost said.

Holloway has since been terminated from the Franklinton Police Department.

More: Franklinton officer terminated, accused in DUI crash that sent 23-year-old to ICU

“Once I saw the video, I knew that the conclusion from the initial police report was not correct,” Joost said.

Franklinton officer terminated after DUI crash arrest
Franklinton officer terminated after DUI crash arrest

Nine days after the accident, state police carried out a search warrant to obtain Holloway’s medical records, which showed the officer’s blood alcohol content at 0.094% at the time of the crash.

The initial report said nothing about the presence of alcohol at the scene but did mention Holloway’s slurred speech and disorientation.

The second report referenced glass and aluminum cans scattered around the vehicle, including a Miller Light box and a wine bottle. The follow-up report also referenced a sour smell in Holloway’s truck and two tumbler cups on the floorboard.

A source close to the investigation tells Fox 8 that the trooper involved in the initial investigation has been reassigned and an internal investigation is underway.

“I can’t speak to what the initial thoughts of the trooper were that night,” LSP spokesperson Trooper Will Huggins said. He says LSP is aware of the discrepancies and is looking into the circumstances of the incident.

“Absolutely everybody makes mistakes,” Joost said. “But nobody wants to have to be blamed and have to live with the guilt of causing an accident like this.

After being in a coma for two weeks, Seth is now breathing on his own and is in rehab.

Klaare Doing better, As Police investigaiton continues
Klaare Doing better, As Police investigaiton continues(rob masson)

Holloway’s termination was approved last week by the Franklinton Town Council. He faces a number of charges including DUI, vehicular negligent injury, and is out on bond.

Fox 8 has reached out to Holloway for comment but has not heard back.

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