Four dead, others injured in Saturday’s crash on I-12

Posted at 12:00 AM, May 28, 2018
and last updated 2018-05-28 01:00:57-04

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.

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.