UPDATE: Unrestrained 2-year-old dead, 10 injured in 3-vehicle wreck on U.S. 61

Fatal wreck on U.S. 61 (Source: WAFB)
Fatal wreck on U.S. 61 (Source: WAFB)
Fatal wreck on U.S. 61 (Source: WAFB)
Fatal wreck on U.S. 61 (Source: WAFB)
Fatal wreck on U.S. 61 (Source: WAFB)
Fatal wreck on U.S. 61 (Source: WAFB)

ZACHARY, LA (WAFB) - A 2-year-old child is dead after a 3-vehicle wreck on U.S. 61 Friday evening, state police say.

According to Louisiana State Police Troop A, around 5:45 p.m. state police began investigating a three-vehicle fatal crash on U.S. 61 near LA 64 in Zachary.

The crash claimed the life of Christian Johnson, 2, of Zachary.

State police say after the initial investigation, they determined the crash happened as 38-year-old Clara Peterson of Zachary was driving southbound on U.S. 61 in a 2015 Nissan Altima.

As the driver began slowing to make a right turn, authorities say a 2009 Chevrolet Impala driven by 28-year-old Keshon Forest of Zachary also began slowing to make a turn behind the Altima. For reasons still under investigation, a 2015 Chevrolet Silverado driven by 32-year-old James Lopresto Jr. of Greenwell Springs failed to slow down and crashed into the rear of Forest's Impala.

State police say the impact of the crash pushed Forest's Impala forward, causing it to strike Peterson's Altima.

Two-year-old Christian Johnson was a passenger in the Impala, officials say. According to state police, the child was unrestrained at the time of the crash and suffered fatal injuries.

Forest and the four additional passengers in her vehicle, as well as Peterson and her three passengers, received moderate injuries.

Lopresto sustained minor injuries and was treated at the scene, authorities say.

According to state police, impairment is not suspected to be a factor in this crash. A toxicology sample will be taken from Forest, Peterson, and Lopresto for analysis - standard in crash fatalities.

This crash remains under investigation.

State police also reminded drivers of the requirements when traveling with small children.

Louisiana State Troopers wish to remind motorists that all occupants of a motor vehicle must be restrained, regardless of seating position.  All children under the age of 6, weighing fewer than 60 pounds, must also be restrained in a weight and age appropriate seat.  While not all crashes are survivable, statistics show that the chances of surviving a crash rise significantly when properly restrained.  Making good choices while in motor vehicles such as never driving while impaired, always ensuring every occupant is properly restrained, and avoiding all distractions can often mean the difference between life and death.

For more information on Child Passenger Safety, visit their website.

Copyright 2017 WAFB. All rights reserved.