St. Tammany Parish Coroner Dr. Charles Preston on Friday released the name of the driver of an 18-wheeler involved in a fiery crash May 26 on Interstate 12 in Covington that killed four people and injured a dozen more.
The crash began when the 18-wheeler, which was hauling avocados, didn't stop as it approached stalled traffic, officials said.
Elmer J. Laporte, 80, of Edinburg, Texas, was the driver of the big rig that plowed into other vehicles on eastbound I-12 between the La. 21 exit and the Tchefuncte River Bridge.
Preston said Laporte died of "blunt force trauma and thermal injuries."
"We located Mr. Laporte's family in Pennsylvania and arranged for collection and shipment of DNA samples," Preston said in a statement Friday. "Those samples arrived yesterday, and by this afternoon we were able to confirm Laporte's identity."
He added, "We continue to remember those killed in the wreck and their families, and appreciate the hard work of our investigators and DNA technicians in confirming this identification quickly."