Police: Two killed in I-12 crash; driver impairment suspected

Police: Two killed in I-12 crash; driver impairment suspected
(Source: Associated Press)

SLIDELL, La. (WVUE) -Two people were killed Friday along a stretch of Interstate 12, according to the Louisiana State Police.

The crash happened around 10:00 p.m. and involved several vehicles near US 11 in St. Tammany Parish.

The crash killed 77-year-old Grace Barthel of Mandeville and 55-year-old Ronald Destgermain of Mandeville.

Troopers determined that the crash occurred as a Dodge Durango, driven by 35-year-old Nicholas Romain of Lacombe, was traveling westbound on Interstate 12 in the left lane and came to a stop in the left lane with Romain unresponsive in the driver’s seat.

This resulted in a four vehicle rear-end crash involving a Toyota Tacoma, a Honda Accord driven by Barthel, and an Audi A6.

Barthel along with her passenger, Destgermain, sustained fatal injuries and were pronounced deceased on the scene.

The driver along with a passenger of the A6 received serious injuries and were transported to an area hospital. Romain and the driver of the Tacoma were not injured.

Impairment is suspected on the part of Romain. The driver of the Tacoma provided a breath sample that showed no evidence of alcohol.

As part of the ongoing investigation, blood samples were collected from Romain, Barthel, and the driver of the A6.

Romain was arrested and booked into the St. Tammany Parish Jail for two counts of Vehicular Homicide, two counts of Vehicular Negligent Injuring, Aggravated Obstruction of a Highway of Commerce, and Possession of Schedule I Controlled Dangerous Substance.

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