IBERVILLE PARISH – Louisiana State Police continue their investigation into an accident involving four 18-wheelers that left two people dead and shut down traffic in both directions on Interstate 10 west of Baton Rouge on Friday night.
State police say the crash happened around 5 p.m. on the elevated section of the interstate known as the Atchafalaya Basin Bridge. State police say 56-year-old Ricky Chester, of Ohio, was driving an 18-wheeler in the eastbound lanes when he failed to stop with traffic congestion and rear ended another 18-wheeler. This caused a chain reaction impacting two other 18-wheelers.
State police say the impact from the crash caused the trailer on one of the trucks to dislodge. The trailer traveled over the guardrail and fell to the ground below. State police say the impact also caused one of the 18-wheelers to catch on fire sending dark smoke billowing over both directions of the interstate.
State police say that Chester and his passenger, his wife Karen Chester, received fatal injuries in the accident. The two were pronounced dead on the scene.
State police say the drivers of the other three 18-wheelers only suffered minor injuries. All the drivers submitted to breathe alcohol tests. The tests found no detectable alcohol in their systems.
By midafternoon on Saturday, the eastbound lanes of I-10 were reopened.
The westbound lanes of I-10 were reopened Saturday morning.
State police say no hazardous materials were found on the trucks.