UPDATE: man killed in nine-car wreck that shut down I-10 for hours

A multi-vehicle wreck closed I-10 for hours Tuesday morning.

METAIRIE, La. -- State police have identified a man who died in a multi-car accident Tuesday morning.

Officials said 67-year-old Isidro Orellana died in the wreck. He was a passenger in one of the vehicles.

The crash involved four cars and four 18-wheelers, which caused the long closure of the highway, while police investigated the scene and worked to remove the vehicles.

Police said the wreck was a chain reaction as a result of a car being stalled in the left lane around 5 a.m. A 2006 Saturn, driven by Lance Cozzens, 29, was stalled shortly after a near accident. Police said Cozzens overcorrected the Saturn and lost control of the car, stopping in the left lane. A 2016 Chevrolet Surburban was in the left lane behind Cozzens. A 2008 Ford Focus, followed by a 32-foot box truck were approaching the stopped Chevrolet when the wreck happened.

State police said the truck driver, 59-year-old Theado Cooper, was not able to slow down. Cooper swerved toward the left shoulder, hitting the Ford Focus on the rear driver's side. The truck then completely entered the left shoulder, past the Chevrolet, before Cooper steered the vehicle toward the right. It then hit the Saturn, which caused the truck to overturn and slide into all three lanes of the highway.

State Police said at the same time, the Ford Focus hit the back of the Surburban, which pushed it into the left center lane where it was hit by a Mack 18-wheeler.

Orellana, who died in the wreck, was in the back passenger seat of the Ford and was not wearing a seat beat according to LSP. The driver of the Ford, Pascual Guerrero, 47, and the front seat passenger, Osman Orellana, 31, were taken to an area hospital with minor injuries.

State police said several other vehicles were involved in the crash as they were attempting to maneuver around the crash in the left and center lanes. In all, nine cars were involved in the wreck.

About 5 hours and 30 minutes after the wreck happened, all lanes of Interstate 10 West at Veterans reopened around 10:30 a.m.

State police said impairment is not suspected, but criminal charges may be forthcoming.

The crash remains under investigation.

 

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