VACHERIE, LA (WVUE) - Louisiana State Police are investigating a fatal accident involving a train and farm tractor, that claimed the life of a 62-year-old man. The accident occurred Sunday at 10 a.m. on Highway 3213, just north of Highway 3127 in Vacherie. The victim has been identified as Mathew Alexander III of Vacherie.
According to police, Alexander was driving north on Hwy 3213 on a farm tractor while towing a 34-foot sugar cane hopper. He approached the rail road crossing on Hwy 3213 as the crossing arms were down, the red lights were flashing and the audible warning signal was activated.
Police say that for unknown reasons, Alexander maneuvered around the crossing arms and into the path of an eastbound Union Pacific train. The train struck the tractor and as a result, Alexander sustained fatal injuries. The St. James Parish Coroner's office pronounced Alexander dead on the scene.
Investigators are working to determine if impairment played a role in the accident. Standard toxicology tests are pending. They are also working to determine if Alexander was restrained at the time of the crash. The train did not derail and there were no injuries reported on the train. The crash is still under investigation.