SORRENTO, LA (WAFB) - Louisiana State Police reported speed is believed to have been a factor in a single-vehicle crash near Sorrento on Wednesday that resulted in the deaths of two people from California.
The driver was identified as James Rodgers, 25, of San Jacinto, California. Two other people were in the car with him. One of the passengers, 58-year-old Wanda Kinchloe, of Hemet, CA, died and the other, whose name has not yet been released, was badly injured.
Troopers said the crash happened on I-10 East past LA 22 in Ascension Parish around 6:30 p.m.
Tpr. Bryan Lee with LSP said the initial investigation showed Rodgers was on I-10 in a 2004 Ford truck "traveling at a high rate of speed" when he tried to quickly change lanes and lost control of the pickup. He added the truck went off the road and hit a tree.
Lee added despite being properly buckled up, Rodgers died from his injuries. According to Lee, Kinchloe, who was in the back seat and not wearing a seatbelt, also died in the wreck. Lee also stated the passenger in the front seat was buckled and was taken to the hospital with serious injuries.
Investigators said it is not yet known if impairment was a factor in the crash. Per protocol for deadly wrecks on Louisiana highways, a blood sample was taken from Rodgers and sent to the Louisiana State Police Crime Lab for a toxicological analysis.
The investigation is ongoing.