ST. AMANT, LA (WAFB) - Firefighters took time Thursday to remember a tragic crash that took the lives of two small children a year ago.
Members of the St. Amant Fire Department gathered at the site where a car with an adult and four children inside veered off Stringer Bridge Road in St. Amant and plunged into Black Bayou.
Faith Castilaw, 9, and Patience Lobdell, 7, died in the wreck. Their mother, Raelyn Encalade, was driving. She and two other children, ages 6 and 9, were pulled from the bayou and survived.
Firefighters placed roses in the bayou where the car went into the water. Fire Chief James LeBlanc said he still remembered arriving on the scene to see residents, sheriff's deputies and firefighters jumping into the cold dark water to do whatever they could to rescue the children.
"Faith and Patience changed my life forever and I will never forget," LeBlanc stated in a news release. "Even though their stay here was very brief, their footprints have left a very big imprint in all our hearts."
A toxicology report was released two months after the accident indicating Encalade had prescription drugs in her system. The Ascension Parish District Attorney's Office is continuing to investigate.
Following the crash, people in the area signed petition for more signs on the roadway warning drivers. DOTD later announced additional cautionary signs would be installed on the road.