MULTIPLE AGENCIES RESPOND TO I-49 CRASH NEAR DERRY; MOTORISTS PULL INJURED DRIVER FROM BURNING WRECKAGE
A 28-year-old Rapides Parish man suffered serious injuries and burns to over fifty percent of his body in a single-vehicle crash off of Interstate-49 at Derry this morning according to the Natchitoches Parish Sheriff’s Office.
This morning at approximately 8:30am, Natchitoches Parish Sheriff’s Deputies, Louisiana State Police, Natchitoches Regional Medical Center EMS, NPSO Rescue, Natchitoches Parish Fire District #1, Natchitoches Parish Fire District 5, Natchitoches City Fire, Natchitoches Parish Fire District #6, Louisiana State Police Motor Carrier Safety, Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development and Air EVAC Lifeteam helicopter responded to 911 reports of a single-vehicle crash involving a large truck on fire with injuries on Interstate-49 near Derry, La.
Deputies arrived on scene learning the vehicle had left the interstate went airborne and landed on La. Hwy 119 fully engulfed in flames.
According to Louisiana State Police, a 2019 Freightliner (Volt Electric) boom truck, operated by a 28-year-old Forest Hill man was traveling northbound on Interstate-49 near the Derry overpass when for reasons still under investigation left the roadway on the right side striking a metal guard rail then concrete rail going airborne landing several feet down on the paved portion of La. Hwy 119 traveling through metal guard rails coming to a rest on its ride side catching on fire.
Motorists that witnessed the crash identified as Dan Cook of Alexandria, RN Brandon Melancon of Church Point, Steve Pierce of Cloutierville and others pulled the semi-conscious driver from the burning wreckage.
The driver suffering from serious injuries and burns to his body was treated by Natchitoches EMS and airlifted from the scene to LSU Medical Center Burn Center in Shreveport.
The driver was wearing a seat belt.
Residents in the area reported the crash shook their homes and smoke could be seen for miles from the fire.
The fire was extinguished by responding fire units.
At 12:20pm, towing services, Volt electric crews and La. Department of Transportation and Development remain on the scene clearing debris and wreckage.
La. Hwy 119 (both lanes) under the I-49 Derry Overpass is closed. If you are traveling through the area, drive carefully, and plan to use an alternate route.
Louisiana State Police and Natchitoches Parish Sheriff’s Deputies wish to remind motorists that 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.
We applaud the motorists who stopped to assist and aid their fellow man this morning. Each of them stated they couldn’t watch him burn to death.”
The crash is still under investigation by Troopers assigned to Louisiana State Police, Troop-E Alexandria.