UPDATE: 4th person dies in I-12 crash

Chris Miller
May 26, 2018 - 6:28 pm

Louisiana State Police Troop L is investigating a multiple-fatality crash involving two 18-wheelers and several other vehicles. The crash happened around 4:00 p.m. Saturday afternoon on east-bound I-12 near the Hwy.21 overpass.

Troopers say it started when the driver of a truck hauling avacados slammed into a line of cars.

Here is a news release from Louisiana State Police:

Yesterday afternoon, at approximately 4:00 pm, Louisiana State Police Troop L was notified of a multi-vehicle crash on I-12 east at LA 21.  The crash involved 10 vehicles and resulted in four fatalities.

Initial on-scene evidence and Troopers’ preliminary investigation revealed that 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 on I-12 approaching the traffic congestion.  For unknown reasons, the 18-wheeler was unable to stop and started a chain reaction crash with nine other vehicles.  The 18-wheeler jackknifed during the crash and caught fire, along with three other vehicles. The driver of the 18-wheeler died on the scene and positive identification has yet to be confirmed.

During the crash, a 2014 Lexus IS350 was struck by the 18-wheeler.  The driver and passenger, Yoland Simmons and Keland Simmons of Baton Rouge, were pronounced dead on the scene.  A 1997 Toyota 4Runner was also struck by the 18-wheeler and the driver, Rachel Lehmann of Mandeville, was taken to the hospital where she later died.

Several individuals were taken to local hospitals with minor/moderate injuries, including a St. Tammany Parish Sheriff’s Office Deputy. All injured parties are expected to make a full recovery.  Impairment has not yet been determined.  Toxicology results are pending an autopsy. I-12 east reopened at approximately 2:00 am on May, 27, 2018.   The crash investigation remains very active and on-going.

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