Three people, including a child, are dead following what troopers say was a road rage incident near Avondale.
Troopers were called to the crash just before 6 p.m. on Saturday. It happened on LA 18 near LA 541 in Jefferson Parish.
The crash claimed the life of 49-year-old Paul Ferrara of New Orleans, and of 31-year-old Raish-Nia Wright and 11-year-old Dezerra Wright, both of Tennessee.
The initial investigation by Troopers revealed a 2010 Ford F-150 pickup was traveling eastbound on LA 18 near LA 541 with a 2002 Dodge Durango driven by Ferrara following closely at a high rate of speed.
As the two-lane road became 4-lanes, the Durango continued eastbound in the left lane now next to the F-150 pickup. For reasons still under investigation, the Durango struck the left side of the F-150 pickup causing the Durango to rotate into the westbound lanes of travel.
At the same time, a 2016 Hyundai Elantra driven by Wright was traveling westbound on LA 18. The Elantra struck the Durango, and despite being properly restrained, Ferrara and Wright were both pronounced deceased on the scene. Proper child restraint use is unknown on the part of Dezerra who was also pronounced deceased on the scene.
An additional passenger in the Elantra, an 11-year-old child, was transported to a local hospital with life threatening injuries. Proper child restraint on part of the additional passenger is unknown at this time.
The driver of the F-150 was properly restrained and uninjured during the crash. As part of the ongoing investigation, toxicology samples will be obtained from all drivers for further analysis. There is no additional information at this time.
Louisiana State Police would like to remind the public to drive safely and exercise extra patience on the roads. Motorists that witness hazardous or dangerous situations are urged to dial *LSP (*577) and report that activity to the Louisiana State Police. During the past 30 years, nearly 9,000 lives have been saved by the use of child restraints according to the U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). Motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death for children. Properly restraining children in age and weight appropriate car seats and/or seat belt systems could save their lives.