PONCHATOULA, La. – Two people died after a driver sideswiped an 18-wheeler, which caused the car to run off the road and overturn into a canal, according to Louisiana State Police Troop L.
Around 6:30 p.m. Sunday, Brandon Hampton, 23, of Clinton, Mississippi, was traveling near the northbound end of the Interstate 55 high rise in Ponchatoula. Amanda Booker, 23, of Jackson, Mississippi, was in the passenger seat of the 2003 Mercury Mountaineer.
A 1999 Mack 18-wheeler driven by Steven Dardar, 47, was traveling alongside the Mercury in the left lane.
For unknown reasons, the Mercury drifted left across the center dashed line and hit the right side of the 18-wheeler.
Hampton over corrected to the right, which caused the car to exit the roadway and overturn as it entered a canal along the east side of the interstate. The car came to rest upside down in approximately five feet of water, according to LSP.
Hampton and Booker were unable to exit the vehicle and were pronounced dead. Impairment is unknown and the results of a toxicology exam are pending, police said.
Dardar was wearing a seatbelt and received no injuries. He submitted to a breath alcohol test and showed no detectable signs of impairment, according to police.