IBERVILLE PARISH, LA (WAFB) - State troopers say an Ohio couple was killed in the fiery crash that happened on I-10 Friday afternoon. The crash happened around 5:00 pm on the Atchafalaya Basin Bridge and shut down the interstate in both directions. The westbound lanes were opened to traffic around 11:00 am Saturday morning. The eastbound lanes remain closed for bridge repairs.
Investigators say an 18-wheeler operated by Ricky Chester, 56, a Freightliner operated by Darren Robinson, 44, another Freightliner operated by Bernadin Rojas-Soriano, 43, and a Kenworth operated by Derrick Moss, 24, were driving East on I-10 in the right lane of the Basin Bridge. For unknown reasons Chester failed to stop with the congestion of traffic and the front of his 18-wheeler struck the back of Robinson's Freightliner. Robinson's Freightliner struck the rear of Rojas-Soriano's Freightliner, which was then pushed into the rear of the Kenworth.
During the crash Robinson's Freightliner's trailer dislodged, went over the guardrail, and fell to the ground below. The other 18-wheelers stopped in the roadway, completely blocking I-10 eastbound. As a result of the crash, the 18-wheeler and Rojas-Soriano's trailer caught fire and quickly became fully engulfed in flames.
Ricky Chester and his passenger, wife Karen Chester, received fatal injuries in the crash and were pronounced dead at the scene. Due to the extent of the fire it is unknown whether the Chester's were properly restrained. Their toxicology results are pending.
Robinson received minor injuries in the crash. Bernadin Rojas-Soriano and Moss were not injured. They were all wearing seatbelts and voluntarily submitted to a breath alcohol test. There were no traces of alcohol found in their systems.
The exact cause of the crash remains under investigation.