METAIRIE, LA (WVUE) - A nine-vehicle crash claimed the life of a 67-year-old Honduran man early Tuesday morning.
The incident began at about 5 a.m. on Interstate 10 between the Transcontinental overpass and Veterans Boulevard.
A preliminary investigation by State Police revealed that a Saturn, driven by 29-year-old Lance Cozzens of New Orleans, was disabled in the left lane after being involved in a near-crash while trying to change lanes. A Suburban, driven by 36-year-old Brejan Ramsey of New Orleans, was in the left lane and stopped behind the Saturn. A Ford Focus was traveling in the left lane, followed by a 32-foot box truck. Both vehicles were approaching the stopped Suburban. The Ford, driven by 47-year-old Pascual Guerrero of Houston, began to slow down. The box truck, driven by 59-year-old Theado Cooper of New Orleans, was unable to slow down and swerved toward the left shoulder, hitting the Ford on the rear driver's side. It then completely entered the left shoulder, past the Suburban, and hit the Saturn in the right rear, which catapulted the box truck onto its side blocking the left center, center and right lanes.
Simultaneously, the Ford hit the rear of the Suburban, pushing it into the left center lane, where it was hit by an 18-wheeler.
Isidro Orellana was the rear seat passenger in the Ford and was not wearing a seatbelt. He was pronounced dead on the scene. The driver of the Ford and his front seat passenger sustained minor injuries and were taken to University Medical Center.
Impairment is not suspected, and the crash remains under investigation. Criminal charges may be forthcoming, according to State Police Trooper Melissa Matey.
Several other vehicles were involved in the crash as they tried to maneuver around it, but there were no injuries to any drivers.