UPDATE: State Police have released more information in the crash that left a teen dead this morning on the U.S. 190 Bridge in Baton Rouge.
Shortly after 8:30 am on February 23, 2021, Troopers from Louisiana State Police Troop A began investigating a sixteen vehicle fatal crash on US Hwy 190 (Mississippi River Old Bridge) west of US Hwy 61 (Airline Hwy) in East Baton Rouge Parish. The crash took the life of 13-year-old Janaria James of Plaquemine.
The initial investigation revealed the crash occurred as 42-year-old Marlin Jordan of Addis was traveling eastbound on US Hwy 190 in a 2007 Kenworth tractor trailer. As Jordan was traveling eastbound, he approached stopped traffic on the downslope of US Hwy 190. For reasons still under investigation, Jordan was unable to stop, which resulted in the Kenworth striking multiple vehicles. This triggered a chain reaction causing a total of sixteen vehicles to be struck during this crash. James was the passenger in a vehicle involved in this crash.
Due to the extent of damage, seatbelt usage is unknown on the part of James. She sustained fatal injuries and was pronounced deceased on the scene. As part of the ongoing investigation, toxicology samples were taken from all drivers involved in the crash for analysis. This crash remains under investigation and charges are pending.
Motorists should always obey posted speed limits due to the fact that traveling at a high rate of speed decreases the amount of a time a driver has to react in an emergency situation. Furthermore, while not all crashes are survivable, statistics show that the chances of surviving a crash rise significantly when properly restrained. Making good choices while in motor vehicles such as never driving while impaired, always ensuring every occupant is properly restrained, and obeying all traffic laws can often mean the difference between life and death.
State Police say that traffic had stopped on the roadway and was beginning to back up when the pile up occurred.
The cause of that traffic backup is currently under investigation.
For much of the day, several 18-wheelers and vehicles remain on the bridge and some fuel has spilled onto the roadway, according to state police.
For several hours, US Hwy 190 eastbound was closed at LA Hwy 1 and eastbound traffic was diverted to LA Hwy 1 southbound.
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