Wrong-way wreck kills 2, closes I-55

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, March 12, 2014

By Monique Roth

LAPLACE – Accidents caused by a car traveling the wrong way, possibly because of an impaired driver, resulted in two deaths and a complete closure of southbound Interstate 55 between Manchac and Ruddock Tuesday morning.

According to Louisiana State Police, the initial investigation shows that a car was possibly driving the wrong way on I-55 southbound, between mile marker 8 and mile marker 9.

The March 11 early morning wrecks occurred at approximately 4:30 a.m.

Preliminary investigation revealed that 32-year-old Brandon Craig of Franklinton was driving a 2011 Kia on I-55 north in the southbound lanes.

The Kia first impacted a 2006 Chevrolet head-on. The Chevrolet was driven by 31-year-old Conrad Hebert of Tickfaw and was traveling in the left lane on I-55 south. 

A 2004 Honda driven by 59-year-old Newton Matthews of St. Rose was traveling behind the Chevrolet on I-55 south and attempted to avoid the crash. The Honda rolled through vehicle fluids that were on the roadway and Matthews lost control of the Honda and impacted the guardrail.

Craig was pronounced dead at the scene and two other passengers in the Kia, 22-year-old Kori Goldsby and 29-year-old Jason Trahan, were transported to local hospitals with moderate injuries.

Hebert was transported to a local hospital where he was later pronounced dead from injuries sustained in the crash. Matthews had minor injuries but refused medical treatment on the scene.

Louisiana State Police Troop B reported impairment is suspected on Craig’s part and toxicology results are pending an autopsy. Impairment is not suspected for Hebert or Matthews.

Craig and the passengers in the Kia were not wearing seat belts at the time of the crash. The crash remains under investigation.

I-55 completely reopened by 9:45 a.m.