A state Department of Corrections inmate from Catahoula Parish broke free from his restraints and jumped from a van traveling on Interstate 55, the Tangipahoa Parish Sheriff’s Office reported Friday.
Sheriff’s spokeswoman Dawn Panepinto said Sedrick Smith, 33, struck a deputy and escaped just before 3:30 p.m. Friday.
Panepinto described the fugitive as a black male wearing blue jeans.
The Tangipahoa, Livingston and St. Helena sheriff’s offices, Louisiana State Police and the Hammond Police Department joined in searching for the escapee.
A Livingston Parish Sheriff’s Office helicopter also was summoned to help locate Smith, Panepinto said.
By late Friday, Smith remained a fugitive and the helicopter search had been called off, officials said.