Four people are dead following a fiery crash involving 10 vehicles on I-12 yesterday in St. Tammany Parish.
Troopers say traffic was stopped or slowing to a stop on I-12 East at LA 21 due to congestion. An 18-wheeler, hauling avocados, was traveling in the right lane when approaching the traffic and was unable to stop, causing a chain-reaction crash with nine other vehicles.
The 18-wheeler jackknifed during the crash and caught fire along with three other vehicles.
A state police spokesperson said the driver of the 18-wheeler, who has yet to be identified, died at the scene.
Troop L is currently investigating a fatal crash involving several vehicles on I-12 east at LA 21. #I12 east is closed at that location. Please avoid the area & take alternate routes, & use https://t.co/t3DMRxiNAs for road advisories. https://t.co/5TqEts3O7y pic.twitter.com/E483tdTLRW
— LA State Police (@LAStatePolice) May 26, 2018
During the crash, a 2014 Lexus IS350 was hit by the 18-wheeler. The driver and passenger, Yoland Simmons and Keland Simmons, both from Baton Rouge, were pronounced dead at the scene, the spokesperson says.
Troopers say a 1997 Toyota 4Runner was also struck by the 18-wheeler. The driver, Rachel Lehmann of Mandeville, was taken to the hospital where she later died.
Several people were taken to local hospitals with minor or moderate injuries, including a St. Tammany Parish Sheriff’s deputy, but all are expected to be okay, the spokesperson says.
Troopers say impairment has not yet been determined. Toxicology results are pending an autopsy.
I-12 East reopened at 2:00 a.m. Sunday after being closed for hours.
The investigation remains ongoing.