Victims of Friday crash identified

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, February 15, 2012



LAPLACE – State Police investigators have been able to identify all five victims involved in Friday’s fatal accident on Interstate 10 involving a driver heading the wrong direction on the interstate.

The accident occurred just before 3 a.m. on the elevated portion of I-10 westbound just west of the Belle Terre Boulevard interchange. A 2000 Jeep Cherokee driven by Ryan Gibbs, 30 of Baton Rouge crashed head on into a 2010 Ford Focus driven by Lawayne Rice, 30, of Zachary.

Other occupants in the Focus were Terrell Sims, 27, of Slaughter, Louis Brown Jr., 19 of Baton Rouge, and Dondray London, 20 of Baton Rouge, said Trooper Nick Manale, a spokesman for State Police. All five victims died at the scene. Following the collision, the Jeep became engulfed in flames and the driver suffered serious burns. Manale said investigators used vehicle records and information provided by the family to identify Gibbs as the driver of the Jeep.

Manale said it is still not clear exactly when or where Gibbs entered the interstate heading in the wrong direction. He said State Police began receiving calls about the wrong way vehicle about 15 minutes before the crash, but troopers were unable to reach and stop the vehicle before the accident.

“We may never be able to determine where he got on or how long he was driving,” Manale said. “It may be impossible to determine.”

Manale said alcohol impairment is still unknown adding that toxicology tests are still pending for each driver in the crash.