Maya Rodriguez / Eyewitness News
ST. JOHN PARISH, La.-- Witnesses described a fiery scene on I-10, where two cars crashed in a head-on collision Friday morning.
"We came up to the accident scene. [It was] pretty horrific," said Stanley Morlier, who was driving to Texas.
Louisiana State Police said around 3 a.m., they began getting calls from drivers who saw a Jeep Cherokee heading east in the westbound lanes of I-10.
"As troopers were responding to the scene and trying to get out there, unfortunately, a head-on collision happened before we could intercept that vehicle," said State Trooper Nick Manale.
The Jeep Cherokee crashed into a Ford Focus and burst into flames, near mile marker 302. The driver of the Jeep was killed, along with four people who were in the Ford.
State police identified the four in the Ford focus: Lawayne Rice, 30, of Zachary, Terrell Sims, 27, of Slaughter and Louis Brown, Jr., 19, and Dondray London, 20, of Baton Rouge.
Troopers said where the crash happened-- an elevated portion of the interstate over water, with no median and a small shoulder-- would have made it difficult for the Ford to avoid the crash.
"Unfortunately, with the location of this crash, there really wasn't much to do, you don't really have much place to go," Trooper Manale said.
Just how the Jeep ended up going the wrong way on I-10 is still under investigation. Cable barriers are currently under construction between New Orleans and Baton Rouge, but there are none in the several miles west of the elevated roadway.
Either way, state troopers don't believe the barriers may have made a difference.
"In this case in particular, we don't think we crossed the median anywhere," Trooper Manale said. "It looks like he entered the interstate from either an on-ramp or an off-ramp somewhere."
State Police have not identified the driver who was going the wrong way, pending the outcome of the autopsy. Two drivers in two other vehicles suffered minor injuries in the crash. They were treated at a local hospital.