Baton Rouge mother, son among 3 dead in fiery I-12 crash

COVINGTON, LA (WAFB) - The Louisiana State Police released more information on Sunday about a fiery crash that had killed four people and shut down I-12 for hours.

According to the traffic report, police responded to a call about a multi-vehicle crash at about 4 p.m. on I-12 east of LA 21.

Police said the crash involved up to ten vehicles and resulted in four deaths. Two of those victims were from Baton Rouge.

Before the crash, traffic was slowing to a stop on I-12 east at LA 21 because of congestion, according to police. An 18-wheeler was traveling in the right lane on I-12, approaching the congestion. Troopers said the 18-wheeler was unable to stop and started a chain reaction crash with nine vehicles.

The 18-wheeler jackknifed during the crash and caught fire in addition to three other vehicles. Police said the driver of the 18-wheeler died at the crash site.

During the crash, the 18-wheeler hit a 2014 Lexus IS350. The driver of that vehicle, Yolanda Simmons, and passenger Keland Simmons, both of Baton Rouge, died at the crash site, police said.

A 1997 Toyota 4Runner was also hit during the chain reaction wreck and its driver, Rachel Lehmann, of Mandeville, was taken to the hospital where she later died.

"My heart goes out to the families that have been impacted by this tragedy," St. Tammany Parish Coroner Dr. Charles Preston said. "I am praying for the safety of all travelers on this Memorial Day weekend and encourage extra caution on our congested roadways."

The St. Tammany Parish Sheriff's Office confirmed that one of the injured in the crash is a St. Tammany deputy.

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