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I-10 Re-Opened; State Police Releases Crash Details

18 wheeler fire I-10
18 wheeler fire I-10

UPDATE: Interstate 10 has been re-opened in both directions at the Atchafalaya Basin Bridge.

The busy section of interstate was shut down Friday evening and into Saturday afternoon following a fiery accident involving four 18-wheelers that claimed the lives of a married couple from Ohio.

Trooper Greg Marchand with Louisiana State Police Troop A said the accident, which occurred at 5 p.m. Friday, happened when the driver of one of the four 18-wheelers failed to stop with traffic congestion and crashed into the back of another rig, which crashed into another and that one into another.

Marchand said the trailer from one of the 18-wheelers fell off the side of the elevated highway and onto the ground below, while the cab remained on the roadway. The other rigs stayed on the roadway but completely blocked eastbound traffic. Two of the 18-wheelers caught fire and quickly became engulfed in flames, “sending smoke billowing in both directions of I-10,” Marchand said.

Fifty-six-year-old Ricky Chester was the driver of the 18-wheeler that caused the initial crash; his wife, Karen Chester, was a passenger. Both were killed in the crash.

The other drivers, 44-year-old Darren Robinson of Baton Rouge, Bernadin Rojas-Soriano of New Jersey, and 24-year-old Derrick Moss of Mississippi, voluntarily submitted to a breath alcohol test. Robinson received only minor injuries; the other two were uninjured.

I-10 Basin Bridge Crossover
I-10 Basin Bridge Crossover, Louisiana State Police
Basin Bridge Fatal Crash
Basin Bridge Fatal Crash, Louisiana State Police
Basin Bridge Fatal Crash
Basin Bridge Fatal Crash, Louisiana State Police

UPDATE: The westbound lanes of Interstate 10 have been re-opened, according to Louisiana State Police. The eastbound lanes remain closed.

ORIGINAL: At least one person was killed in a fiery crash involving four 18-wheelers on a span of Interstate 10 known as the Atchafalaya Basin Bridge.

According to officials from Louisiana State Police Troops A and I, the interstate remains shut down in that area as the investigation into the accident continues.

Two of the 18-wheelers caught fire, police said, and crossovers normally used for emergency vehicles had to be opened Friday evening to allow traffic to turn around.

Police told KATC-TV 3 that the trailer from one of the rigs fell over the side of the bridge, while the cab remained on the roadway.

As of 6:36 a.m. Saturday, traffic was being diverted from Interstate10 East to Interstate 49 North to U.S. Highway 190 East. Traffic from the westbound side of Interstate 10 was being diverted to La. Highway 415 to U.S. Highway 190 West.

State police gave no timeline for the reopening of the interstate, say only, “Rest assured that LSP and all involved are working tirelessly to reopen the interstate. In the interest of public safety the roadway will be open when it is completely safe for travel.”

The name of the person killed in the crash has not been released.

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