BATON ROUGE, La. (WAFB) - Louisiana State Police say they have arrested the driver who is accused of causing a fatal 16-vehicle crash on the old US 190 Mississippi River Bridge on Feb. 23.
Janaria James, 13, of Plaquemine, died as a result of the crash.
Marlin Jordan, 42, of Addis, was arrested and charged with negligent homicide on April 14 for allegedly causing the crash, authorities say.
“After conducting a thorough investigation and reviewing all of the evidence, Troopers were able to determine that Jordan’s actions leading up to the crash were negligent,” Trooper First Class Taylor Scrantz tells WAFB.
The crash happened shortly before 8:35 a.m. on Tuesday, Feb. 23.
Scrantz tells WAFB’s Austin Kemker the vehicle the teen was in was hit by a semi-truck.
Multiple cars were also hit by several semi-trucks, Scrantz says.
The crash scene stretched for about a quarter of a mile on the bridge.
Some of the other victims suffered minor to moderate injuries in the crash, police say.
Authorities say some victims refused treatment and others were transferred to area hospitals.
Once LSP wraps up its investigation into DOTD will evaluate the finding to determine if any changes need to be made to the bridge to prevent another fatal crash from happening again.
Archie Trahan, who was caught up in the wreck said DOTD should put some sort of warning signal on the bridge to alert drivers when traffic is stopped on the bottom of the bridge.
“I know how long it takes for an 18 wheeler to stop and they were going way too fast to even think about stopping when he topped that bridge coming down the other side and no warning,” Trahan said.
An initial look by DOTD’s Shawn Wilson shows there have been 10 wrecks of varying severity over the last several years. He said the cause of this wreck will likely determine any changes made to the bridge.
“We’ll look at the assessment of all these accidents,” Wilson said. “To my knowledge, this is the first time that we’ve had a death in this vicinity but we’re going to dig into that deeper to make sure we understand what’s happening, why it’s happening to come up with some alternatives.”
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