Troopers Investigate Two Fatal Crashes Within the Span of Two Hours

Published 10:39 am Tuesday, January 4, 2022

Plaquemines Parish – On January 3, 2022, shortly after 6:00 pm, Troopers from Louisiana State Police Troop B responded to a two-vehicle crash on LA 39 near Gibbons Road in Braithwaite. The crash ultimately claimed the life of 47-year-old Christie Thomas of New Orleans. 

The initial investigation revealed that Thomas was driving a 2007 Nissan Sentra south on LA 39. At the same time, a 2012 Honda Accord was traveling north on LA 39. For unknown reasons, the Nissan crossed the centerline of LA 39 and entered into the path of the Honda. As a result, the front of the Nissan collided with the Honda.

Thomas was unrestrained at the time of the crash, suffered fatal injuries, and was pronounced dead at the scene. The driver of the Honda was restrained, suffered critical injuries, and was transported to a local hospital for treatment. Impairment on the part of both drivers is not suspected, however routine toxicology testing will be completed as a part of the ongoing investigation.

Orleans Parish – On January 3, 2022, shortly after 8:00 pm, Troopers responded to a single-vehicle crash on US 90B West near the General De Gaulle Drive exit ramp in New Orleans. The driver, 44-year-old Andre Garel of New Orleans, was killed during the crash. 

The preliminary investigation revealed that Garel was driving a 1995 Chevrolet Silverado west on US 90B. For reasons still under investigation, the Silverado struck the left bridge rail before veering to the right across two lanes and striking the right bridge rail.

Garel was transported to a local hospital for treatment, where he later died. Restraint use and impairment on the part of Garel is unknown. This crash remains under investigation.

Troopers would like to remind motorists of the importance of safe driving behaviors and obeying all traffic laws. While not all crashes are survivable, wearing a seatbelt greatly reduces the chances of being killed or seriously injured in a crash. Making safe decisions could be the difference for tomorrow.