A 14-year-old Folsom boy was killed early Saturday in St. Tammany Parish when a car fleeing from State Police hit an 18-wheeler. The victim was a passenger in the car.
Shortly after midnight, a state trooper stopped a Chevrolet Cobalt for speeding in excess of 100 mph on U.S. 190 near La. 1077 in Covington. The Cobalt was being driven by a 14-year-old boy, not the one who later died.
While the trooper was questioning the boy outside of the vehicle, the front-seat passenger jumped into the driver’s seat and drove away westbound on U.S. 190.
The trooper secured the 14-year-old in his patrol car and radioed in a description of the Cobalt. The trooper had lost sight of the fleeing vehicle but began to head westbound on U.S. 190 anyway. About 2 miles west of the site of the traffic stop, the trooper came upon the scene of a high-speed crash involving the Cobalt and an 18-wheeler.
Investigators identified Brandon Bigner, 21, of Franklinton as the front-seat passenger who jumped into the driver’s seat and drove away.
They said the Cobalt, operated by Bigner, had swerved completely across the eastbound lane of U.S. 190 onto the eastbound shoulder, then overcorrected into the path of an oncoming 18-wheeler operated by Walker Hurt, 62, of Gulfport, Mississippi. The front of the 18-wheeler hit the left side of the Cobalt.
Bigner, who was not wearing a seat belt, was ejected from the vehicle and suffered severe injuries.
A 14-year-old Folsom resident, Sloan McDow, who was in the rear seat of the Cobalt, died at the scene as a result of injuries he sustained in the crash, even though he was wearing a seat belt.
Troopers suspect alcohol use by Bigner was a factor in the accident. A sample of his blood was obtained for analysis.
Hurt, the driver of the 18-wheeler, was properly restrained and sustained minor injuries. Troopers do not suspect he was impaired at the time of the crash.
Troopers arrested the original juvenile driver of the Cobalt on counts of speeding and underage DWI. He was released to the custody of his parents on a juvenile custodial agreement.
Charges against Bigner will be filed upon his release from North Oaks Hospital.