Unrestrained passenger dies in rollover crash on I-10 - KATC.com | Continuous News Coverage | Acadiana-Lafayette

Unrestrained passenger dies in rollover crash on I-10

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Image Credit: MGN Online Image Credit: MGN Online

One man is dead and another is in custody following a two-vehicle crash on I-10, west of Jennings, this morning.

Shortly before 4:00 a.m., Louisiana State Police Troop D responded to a two-vehicle crash on I-10 E, about two miles west of LA 26, in Jefferson Davis Parish.

Troopers say a 1975 Oldsmobile failed to yield the right-of-way while driving onto the right lane of travel from the right shoulder of the highway.  

Thirty-eight-year-old Barney James Oakley, of Ocean Springs, Mississippi, struck the rear of the Oldsmobile as a result, according to a state police spokesman.

The Oldsmobile then veered off of the roadway and ignited into flames. The driver and two passengers were properly restrained and were able to escape from the vehicle. They were transported from the scene with minor injuries.

The driver of the the Oldsmobile was ticketed for improper moving of a parked vehicle.

Oakley's vehicle rolled over, causing his unrestrained passenger, 45-year-old Carl J. Melitos of Pearland, Texas, to be partially ejected, troopers say. Melitos was pronounced dead at the scene.

Oakley was not injured, but state police say he tossed a bag, containing approximately one pound of methamphetamine, from the vehicle.  Troopers say Oakley was impaired during the time of the crash.  

The drugs were recovered, and Oakley was charged with DWI, possession with intent to distribute Schedule II narcotics (methamphetamine), and failure to wear a seatbelt.  He was booked into the Jefferson Davis Parish Jail.
A routine toxicology sample was obtained from the driver of the Oldsmobile and will be submitted for analysis. The crash remains under investigation.

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