SORRENTO, LA (WAFB) - WAFB 9News has learned the man accused of killing two young children in a crash on Sunday night on I-10 near Sorrento has a criminal history.
The images from Sunday night's crash are horrifying. The story is heartbreaking. Louisiana State Police Senior Trooper Bryan Lee says witnesses told police they saw a Toyota Corolla weaving in and out of traffic before rear-ending a Jeep Wrangler. Police say Stephen Daigle, 47, was driving the Corolla when he slammed into Aisha Philson, 34, of Houston. State police confirm Willie Williams, Jr., 8, and 1-month-old, Arielle Philson, were thrown from the vehicle and killed. Philson and a 12-year-old who was also in the Jeep are in the hospital.
"It was devastating, and one of the things that bothers me is that these types of crashes are preventable," Lee said.
Video posted on Daigle's Facebook page indicates he was at Jazz Fest in New Orleans on Sunday afternoon. Trooper Lee says Daigle is charged with negligent homicide, negligent injuring, and reckless operation, but that could change.
"They [investigators] didn't suspect impairment last night, but a toxicology sample was taken and they weren't able to conduct a field sobriety test at the scene due to injuries," Lee said.
This is not Daigle's first run in with the law. According to court documents obtained by WAFB, Daigle spent time in prison after being indicted in 2008 and pleading guilty in federal court to possession with intent to distribute methamphetamine. Lee says as for Sunday's crash, investigators are looking at all the possibilities. They report no one in either vehicle was wearing a seat belt either. For that, Lee says the other driver could also face charges.
"They [investigators] want to verify there were no restraint systems in place prior to charging the driver," Lee said.
Lee says blood samples were taken from both drivers. Those results are expected in a few weeks.
Daigle remains in the Ascension Parish Jail.