Lightning Determined As The Cause Of A Tragic Crash On I-49
A three-car accident claimed the life of two people after lightning struck one of the vehicles traveling north on 1-49 yesterday afternoon.
Louisiana State Police released details of the accident that occurred at approximately 1 p.m. Friday just south of the Bunkie exit in Evangeline Parish. After lightning struck the car driven by Curtis Williams of New Orleans, it became disabled in the roadway. Following behind was a wrecker truck driven by Harold Drauzat of Ville Platte. Drauzat was able to stop in time to avoid hitting Williams' car but was hit from behind by Austin Jones' pickup truck, pushing the wrecker into the disabled car in front.
Troop I investigators reported 22-year-old Austin Jones, who was wearing a seat belt, suffered fatal injuries. He was pronounced dead on scene by the St. Landry Parish Coroner’s Office. His passenger, 24-year-old Destinee Jones, was also wearing a seat belt and suffered critical injuries. She was transported to Opelousas General Hospital where she later died from her injuries. The couple was from Covington. A 12-month old child was properly restrained in a child safety seat and suffered minor injuries.
Williams and his three passengers were transported to Bunkie General Hospital for treatment of minor injuries.
Impairment is not believed to be a factor in the crash.