A hit-and-run crash Tuesday night on the Interstate 10 bridge over the Middle Pearl River took the life of a 26-year-old Theodore, Alabama, truck driver and snarled traffic on the busy highway for many hours Wednesday.
Police were still searching Wednesday evening for the pickup driver they believe caused the wreck.
Steven Shawn Clark was driving an 18-wheeler westbound in the left lane about 9:30 p.m. Tuesday, according to Trooper Dustin Dwight, of the State Police. Next to Clark’s truck in the right lane was a second 18-wheeler, driven by Roberto Torrez, of San Antonio.
As the two trucks were crossing the bridge, a dark-colored pickup tried to pass Torrez on the right shoulder but instead hit the front of Torrez’ rig, pushing his truck into Clark’s, Dwight said.
Clark’s truck went through and over the left concrete guardrail and plunged into the river.
His body was recovered hours later by the St. Tammany Parish Sheriff’s Office dive team.
The pickup fled the scene, and State Police are seeking the public’s assistance in locating the driver. Anyone with information is asked to call State Police Troop L at (985) 893-6250.
The wreck forced the closure of the I-10 bridge for several hours Wednesday morning while emergency crews worked the scene of the crash.
Attempts to pull Clark’s truck from the river were ongoing, and drivers in the area should expect continuing delays.
Editor’s note: This story was altered on Nov. 5 after State Police corrected the name of the truck driver whose rig was traveling in the right lane at the time of the incident.
Follow Faimon A. Roberts III on Twitter, @faimon.