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Nov 30, 2009 2:39 PM by State Troop A Press Release

Interstate Tragedy Claims Five Young Lives, Injures Ten Others

UPDATE - Ariel Hines (B/F, age 12) of Harvey was pronounced deceased just after noon today by doctors at Our Lady of the Lake Hospital in Baton Rouge. Ariel is the sixth person who has died as a result of injuries sustained in the I-10 crash in Ascension Parish on Saturday.

UPDATE - The driver of the 2000 GMC Safari Minivan, Mona Hines (B/F, age 38) was killed in the crash. Hines was restrained when the crash occurred, but was partially ejected from the vehicle and pronounced deceased on the scene by the Ascension Parish Coroner's Office. Four of the children, who were unrestrained in the back seats of the vehicle, Ricky Hines, Jr. (B/M, age 2), Lachante Floyd (B/F, age 12), Edward Barnes (B/M, age 14), and Ashley Hines (B/M, age 14) were also pronounced deceased at the scene. The other adult in the vehicle, Stacey Hines (B/F, age 28), was properly restrained when the crash occurred and is currently in stable condition at Our Lady of the Lake Hospital in Baton Rouge. Seven (7) of the children who survived the crash remain in critical condition and two (2) sustained moderate injuries, but are considered stable. The ages of the surviving children range from less than one year old to 14 years old. All occupants of the vehicle are believed to be from the Harvey area.

BATON ROUGE - Louisiana State Police Troop A is currently investigating a rollover fatal crash that occurred today just before noon on Interstate 10 east of LA 928 in Ascension Parish. There were fifteen occupants in a Chevrolet minivan traveling west on I-10 when the driver of the van swerved to the left and side-swiped a refrigerated box truck. The vehicle then ran off the roadway to the left into the median, overturned several times, and came to rest in an upright position on the eastbound lanes of I-10. Preliminary investigation suggests that the front left tire on the minivan blew out just before the crash occurred. The refrigerated box truck sustained very minor damage and the driver of the truck was not injured.

There were fifteen (15) occupants in the minivan when the crash occurred. The only two adults in the vehicle, the driver and front-seat passenger, were wearing seat belts. The thirteen (13) children in the back seats were not restrained and were all fully ejected from the vehicle. Five (5) of the vehicle's occupants, including the driver, were pronounced deceased on the scene by the Ascension Parish Coroner's Office. The remaining ten (10) passengers were transported to Our Lady of the Lake Hospital and Baton Rouge General Hospital by Acadian Ambulance and Baton Rouge EMS in critical condition.

Troopers and Ascension Parish Sheriff's Deputies worked together to get the roadway cleared while first responders from Prairieville Fire Department, St. George Fire Department, Acadian Ambulance, and Baton Rouge EMS tended to the injured. Interstate 10 was closed in both directions for approximately one hour before Troopers and Deputies were able to clear one lane for travel in each direction. Shortly thereafter, the roadway was fully cleared for travel.

The names of the deceased are being held pending notification of the next of kin. Alcohol is not suspected to have been a factor in this crash. However, Troopers have submitted a sample of the driver's blood to the Louisiana State Police Crime Lab for chemical analysis.

Louisiana state law now requires seat belt or child restraint use in every position in the vehicle. Troopers have spent the first two months after the law took effect to educate the public about the new law and are now strictly enforcing this law in an attempt to decrease the instances of serious injuries and deaths caused by vehicle crashes throughout the state. Statistics show that the safest place to be when a vehicle overturns is INSIDE the vehicle. The only way to ensure this is to be properly restrained inside the vehicle.

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