ST. LANDRY PARISH, LA (WAFB) - A Baker man was killed Thursday in a multi-vehicle wreck on I-49, reports Louisiana State Police.
Troopers responded to the wreck on Thursday, March 15 around 1:30 p.m. The incident involved nine vehicles and happened on I-49 near exit 23. The crash claimed the life of William Poche, 72.
LSP's preliminary investigation reveals Terry Gates, 48, was driving north in the outside lane of I-49 in a 2003 Kenworth tractor-trailer, when he failed to slow down for slow moving traffic and swerved into the inside lane. Gates then hit a 2017 Toyota Corolla being driven by Poche, and numerous other vehicles, causing a chain reaction of crashes. During the wreck, the tractor-trailer rolled on top of the Corolla and came to rest partially in the median.
Poche was wearing his seat belt, but sustained fatal injuries nonetheless. He was pronounced dead on the scene by the St. Landry Parish Coroner's Office. Gates was wearing a seat belt and sustained moderate injuries. He was transported to a local hospital for treatment. Seven other people involved sustained minor to moderate injuries and were transported to local hospitals as well.
LSP officials say impairment is not suspected as a factor in this crash, however, toxicology samples were taken for analysis. Gates was charged with careless operation.
The crash remains under investigation and other charges could be filed.