HAMMOND, La. — A 15-year-old who was killed in a crash on Interstate 55 in Tangipahoa Parish Sunday was a student at Ponchatoula Junior High School, the school's principal announced on Facebook.
"It is with sadness that we say farewell to Ponchatoula Junior High School student, Solomon Short, who recently lost his life in a tragic car accident," Mary Beth Crovetto wrote on Facebook.
"Solomon was a funny, outgoing, young man who was well-liked by his peers. He will be missed. Please keep his family in your thoughts and prayers as they continue to grieve and recover," she wrote.
Two other children were in critical condition after a crash, officials said.
Louisiana State Police officials said the crash happened around 9:25 p.m. on I-55 near the South Morrison Boulevard exit. Investigators say 38-year-old Viola Oliver II was trying to exit the interstate when she lost control of her 2003 Ford Explorer. The SUV ran off the right side of the roadway and overturned several times before coming to rest upside down on the I-55 West Service Road.
Troopers say three children were not wearing seatbelts and were ejected from the SUV during the crash.
Short was taken to North Oaks Hospital in critical condition, where he later died.
The two other children suffered injuries and were taken to Our Lady of the Lake Hospital in Baton Rouge by helicopter. They remained in critical condition as of Tuesday.
Police officials said Oliver was trapped inside her SUV and had to be extricated by the Ponchatoula Fire Department. She was also taken to North Oaks Hospital in critical condition.
Investigators say impairment may have contributed to the crash. Oliver was given a ticket for careless operation and two counts of no child restraint (under 13-years-old). Additional charges may be possible as the investigation continues and troopers receive the results of a blood test.
Ponchatoula Junior High School's post has been shared hundreds of times, with hundreds of comments sending prayers to the families of the victims.