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Wrong way driver causes fatal multi-vehicle crash in Calcasieu Parish

Fatal Crash
Posted at 5:58 AM, Jan 16, 2020

State Police Troop D says that a wrong way driver caused a fatal crash involving multiple vehicles Wednesday night in Calcasieu Parish.

The crash occurred around 6:00 pm on I-10 about four miles west of Vinton.

Four vehicles were involved in the crash that claimed the life of 83-year-old Gabriel Prejean of Vinton.

A preliminary investigation by State Police revealed a 2011 Chevrolet pickup truck, driven by 76-year-old Mario De La Cruz of Anahuac, TX., was traveling the wrong way on I-10 prior to the crash.

State Police say that for reasons still under investigation, De La Cruz struck a 2017 Chevrolet Silverado while traveling east in the westbound lanes of travel.

After the initial impact, State Police say De La Cruz's vehicle struck a westbound 2002 Chevrolet pickup truck driven by Prejean head-on. The impact caused Prejean’s pickup truck to strike a 2004 Lexus GS 300.

Prejean, who was properly restrained, sustained fatal injuries as a result of the crash. He was pronounced dead at the scene.

State Police say De La Cruz was properly restrained and sustained minor injuries.

The other two drivers were also property restrained and were not injured.

Toxicology samples were obtained and will be submitted for analysis. Charges are pending and the crash remains under investigation.