SPRINGFIELD – A Louisiana State Police investigation has found an 18-wheeler struck a car Friday on Interstate 12, then crossed the median to the other side of the interstate, colliding with another 18-wheeler, killing both drivers.
The initial investigation revealed the crash occurred as a Kenworth tractor trailer and a 2018 Toyota Highlander were traveling eastbound on I-12 east of La. 43, according to Trooper Taylor Scrantz, spokesman for Troop A.
For reasons still under investigation, the Kenworth struck the Toyota, causing both vehicles to cross the median and enter I-12’s westbound lanes, he said.
The Kenworth struck Western Star tractor trailer head-on and the Toyota overturned, Scrantz said.
After the Kenworth struck the Western Star, both vehicles became engulfed in flames, he said.
Due to the severity of the fire, it’s not known if the Kenworth and Western Star drivers were using seat belts, the trooper said.
Both drivers sustained fatal injuries and were pronounced deceased on scene, Scrantz said.
Their identities were not released pending verification.
The driver of the Toyota sustained moderate injuries and was transported to a local hospital for treatment
Impairment is unknown at this time, but routine toxicology samples were taken from each driver for analysis, Scrantz said.
This crash remains under investigation, he said.
The crash blocked traffic on both sides of the interstate and in turn created lengthy traffic delays in surface streets in Livingston Parish.
At 2:15 p.m., the Walker Police Department announced I-12 East at Walker was being closed to divert eastbound traffic to Florida Boulevard.
This created heavy traffic on Walker South Road and Florida Boulevard.
I-12 west was closed at the Pumpkin Center exit in Tangipahoa Parish and motorists were advised by the state Department of Transportation and Development to use Interstate 55 North to U.S. 190 West as an alternate route.