WALKER, LA (WAFB) - Police are investigating a crash that took the life of a married couple originally from the greater Baton Rouge area. The man and woman were missionaries in the Philippines. The crash involved three vehicles and two 18-wheelers.
The crash happened around 11:30 p.m. Tuesday on I-12 about a mile west of Satsuma, LA.
According to the Walker Police Department, an 18-wheeler changed lanes to avoid a pickup towing a disabled Ford Focus that pulled from the outside road shoulder onto the highway. While changing lanes, the 18-wheeler struck a Volkswagen convertible, sending it into the path of a second 18-wheeler.
The Volkswagen was occupied by Matthew and Hailey Barr, who are originally from the area and were visiting family for a few weeks. Hailey Barr was pronounced dead at the scene and Matthew Barr was taken to Our Lady of the Lake hospital in Baton Rouge where he later died.
Police believe that the truck and the car being towed were occupied by a man and his daughter. Police say the pickup was being driven by the daughter and her father was in the Ford Focus. Both individuals suffered minor to moderate injuries. Their identities have not yet been released.
The drivers of the 18-wheelers were not injured.
According to friends of the family, Matthew Barr was the CEO of Fuel.PH. He and his wife were living in the Philippines serving as missionaries. Matthew and Hailey were born and raised in the Baton Rouge area and were visiting family in Covington, LA.
On the Fuel.PH Facebook page, a post stated: "Their lives have forever impacted our city, Iloilo... our nation, the Philippines... their hometowns and families and friends the world over. Lives built on truth, integrity, passion, purity, determination, compassion, generosity and so much more!"
"The void will be great, but the gratitude of having them in our lives will remain in our hearts. So many words to be written and things to be said, but in short, we honor them. As a community, as close friends, as family... we honor the lives they lived as an example of love, genuine love."
Charges in connection with this fatal accident are pending.