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Man who died in I-12 crash has Lafayette ties

Posted: 1:36 PM, May 28, 2018
Updated: 2018-05-28 14:36:05-04

Four people died in a fiery crash on Interstate 12 in Baton Rouge Saturday one of which has Lafayette ties. 

The accident happened about 4:00 p.m. Saturday when an 18-wheeler didn’t stop for traffic and started a chain reaction crash involving nine other vehicles. According to State Police, the 18-wheeler jackknifed and caught fire, and three other vehicles burned as well. The truck driver died at the scene but hasn’t been identified yet. 

Yolanda Simmons and Keland Simmons, both of Baton Rouge, also died at the scene. Another driver, Rachel Lehmann of Mandeville, died at a hospital after the accident. 

Keland Simmons attended SLCC in Lafayette and was a professional MMA fighter. Members of the Gladiator Academy in Scott say that Keland was a great friend and even better martial artist. He went by the name "The Power Ranger" and his coaches say he always wanted to make sure that  everyone was focused but also having fun at the same time

"I will always remember his smile and the way he made people feel, not just himself but the people around him. He was an incredible guy," says former coach Timothy Credeur. 

The organization says they hope to do something at their academy to memorialize his legacy but for now those who knew him continue to process the loss.