Driver identified in deadly Causeway Bridge accident

Driver identified in deadly Causeway Bridge accident
Rescue efforts on Sunday morning
Rescue efforts on Sunday morning

ST. TAMMANY PARISH, LA (WVUE) - The St. Tammany Parish Coroner has identified the driver killed on the Causeway Bridge Sunday morning.

David Zapot, 38, of Lacombe, was killed when his vehicle went off the southbound Causeway Bridge.

The accident happened on the southbound span around 10:30 a.m. when the vehicle flipped over the railing near the 16 mile marker.

An investigation continues into what caused a deadly crash. According to Causeway officials, a witness told them an SUV began to swerve and flipped over the side of the bridge.

St. Tammany Water Rescue and the United States Coast Guard were on scene within minutes and divers went into the water, but the driver did not make it out. This is the second time in a month a vehicle has gone off the southbound side of the bridge and the second time a crash turned deadly.

Causeway General Manager Carlton Dufrechou says too many wrecks happen because drivers don't pay attention.

"Whenever anything happens catastrophic on the bridge, it happens very, very quickly and it's just another instance," said Dufrechou. "[It's] another instance of whenever we're driving on the bridge, please always pay attention when you hear the 'clump, clump, clump' of the expansion joints, for the next 23 minutes, pay attention driving on the bridge."

There has also been a lot of talk about the guard rails on the southbound span of the bridge. They are lower than the northbound bridge.

Crash tests begin next month on new, higher rails.

Copyright 2014 WVUE. All rights reserved.