Fatal accident on bridge causes major traffic jam

Published 12:00 am Saturday, May 8, 2010



LAPLACE – A fatal accident on the Hale Boggs Bridge that shut down the southbound lanes of Interstate 310 and backed up traffic for hours in St. Charles Parish Thursday morning is still under investigation, according to a release from State Police Troop B.

Troop B Spokesperson Melissa Matey said as of presstime Friday the name of the victim had not been released pending notification and identification of family members.

The accident occurred about 4:15 a.m. Thursday near milepost 7.3 on southbound I-310.

Authorities said a 2008 Mack garbage truck, driven by Lawrence Robertson, 43, of Kenner, was traveling in the right lane of I-310 south when a 2008 Mazda Tribute, also in the right lane, struck the garbage truck from the rear.

Matey said the Mazda then veered to the left and struck a guardrail on the side of the bridge. The vehicle then became engulfed in flames, according to the report.

Matey said the driver of the Mazda, who was the only occupant of the vehicle, was pronounced dead at the scene.

Investigators are not yet sure why the Mazda struck the rear of the garbage truck.

Matey said speed is suspected to have been a factor in the crash.

A toxicology report on the victim is pending the autopsy.