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ST. AMANT, LA (WAFB) -
Two young girls died after a car with five people inside went off the road and into a bayou in Ascension Parish late Tuesday night.
The victims were identified as Faith Castilaw, 9, and Patience Lobell, 7, of St. Amant. The Louisiana State Police said their mother, Raelyn Encalade was driving.
"In my 26 years of doing this, this is by far the worst I've seen," St. Amant Fire Chief James LeBlanc said.
Three Ascension Parish sheriff's deputies were among the first on the scene and dove into the bayou in an attempt to save the girls, but were unable to get into the vehicle. Volunteer firefighters from the St. Amant area also attempted to help, authorities said.
"They remained in the frigid water and continued their attempts for over 30 minutes until rescue divers took over," said Trooper Russell Graham with Louisiana State Police.
Graham said Encalade veered off Stringer Bridge Road (LA 935) in St. Amant in a curve, causing the 2003 Mercury Sable to spin as it went down an embankment and into the bayou.
Paramedics worked at the scene to try to revive the girls, but they were later pronounced dead.
Encalade and two other children, ages 6 and 9, were pulled from the bayou and survived.
Troopers did not release the names of the two young girls who survived. Those girls are friends of the family.
Graham added troopers do not suspect impairment on the part of the driver, but did send a blood sample to the Louisiana State Police Crime Lab as a matter of routine procedure.