Drunk Driver Drives 18-Wheeler Wrong Way On Basin Bridge
Drivers on Interstate 10 received quite a scare Friday when the driver of an 18-wheeler drove the wrong way on the Atchafalaya Basin Bridge, causing three crashes.
Trooper Evan Harrell, public information officer for Louisiana State Police Troop C, says the driver of the big rig started driving on the wrong side of the highway in Iberville Parish, heading west in the eastbound side of the interstate.
Troopers and police in Baton Rouge say they were alerted to the wrong-way driver after the first crash, which happened at about 10:30 p.m. No one was injured in that crash.
"Troop A immediately dispatched units to intercept the 18 wheeler and to notify oncoming traffic of the impending danger," Harrell says.
The driver then caused a second crash, this one involving minor injuries.
State Police in Lafayette and deputies in St. Martin Parish were alerted the 18-wheeler was driving into their jurisdictions.
"As Troop A and Troop I units located the 18-wheeler traveling the wrong way on I-10," Harrell says, "efforts were made to gain the driver's attention and other traffic with emergency lights and sirens while paralleling the 18-wheeler on I-10 westbound."
The truck then hit a third car with no injuries.
"At this time, St. Martin Parish Sheriff’s units joined in the pursuit," Harrell says.
Surrounding police departments closed off the entrance ramps to the interstate, Harrell says.
The chase finally came to end when St. Martin Parish deputies successfully deployed spike strips to deflate the 18-wheeler's tires.
62-year-old Marshal Smith of Gaffney, S.C. was arrested and charged with DWI, reckless operation, felony aggravated flight from an officer, and three counts of hit and run. Smith was booked into the Iberiville Parish Prison.