NEW ORLEANS, LA (WVUE) - Louisiana State Police are investigating a crash on the West Bank that left four children injured. The incident occurred Friday at 9:45 p.m. on the elevated portion of the West Bank Expressway near Ames Boulevard.
According to police, a Saturn SUV driven by 38-year-old Jason Toups of Metairie was traveling west at a high rate of speed. Also inside the SUV were five children ranging in age from 2-10 years old. For unknown reasons, Toups lost control of the vehicle and hit the rear of a Honda SUV, driven by 39-year-old Kimberly Smith of Marrero. The impact caused the Saturn SUV to hit the left guard rail and roll several times. A seven-year-old, who was riding in the cargo area of the Saturn, was ejected from the vehicle and suffered critical injuries.
A two-year-old and four-year-old were in child seats, but police say that neither of the seats were installed properly. Also involved in the crash were an eight-year-old, who was wearing a seat belt and a 10-year-old who was also riding in the cargo area of the vehicle. According to police, the eight-year-old was not injured, but all of the occupants in the Saturn SUV were brought to local hospitals.
Police say that Toups was not wearing his seat belt at the time of the crash. He was arrested and booked at the Jefferson Parish Correctional Center with: DWI, reckless operation, five counts of child endangerment, first degree vehicular negligent injuring, two counts of vehicular negligent injuring, two counts of child restraint, two counts of seat belt use and driving with a suspended driver's license.
The crash is still under investigation.