Two people were killed when a westbound sedan crossed the median on Interstate 10, vaulted cable barriers and collided with an oncoming 18-wheeler between Sorrento and Gramercy, Louisiana State Police said.
The Wednesday crash just east of the I-10/Airline Highway interchange in St. James Parish killed David Curtis, 45, of New Orleans and Herbert Fernandez, 55, of Springfield, troopers said.
State Police said Curtis was driving a Nissan westbound when he crossed into the median about 6 p.m., flew over the protective barriers in the median and struck Fernandez's truck.
Curtis wasn't wearing a seat belt and was thrown from his car. He was pronounced dead at the scene.
Fernandez was properly restrained, but also sustained fatal injuries, according to troopers.
More than a decade ago, the state Department of Transportation and Development began installing protective cable barriers in the medians of I-10 and Interstate 12 in an attempt to avoid head-on crashes from oncoming traffic crossing through the median.
Though the barriers were in place, they weren't enough to stop the car in this case, according to Taylor Scrantz, spokesman for State Police Troop A.
Rodney Mallett, DOTD spokesman, said Thursday the crash remains under investigation.
The state highway department's Twitter account showed that the eastbound lanes of I-10 were blocked more than six hours following the crash. A westbound lane was closed about two hours.