3 siblings killed by wrong-way driver in head-on collision, LSP says
NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) - Four people are dead, including three siblings, after a two-vehicle crash on I-49 in St. Landry Parish, according to Louisiana State Police.
The crash happened on Dec. 17, shortly after 9 p.m. near Hwy. 29, police say.
The crash claimed the lives of John Lundy, 54, of Dallas, Georgia, Lindy Rae Simmons, 20, Kamryn Simmons, 14, and Christopher Simmons, 16, all of Jeanerette.
Investigators say Lundy was driving his truck the wrong way down I-49 and struck the Simmons’ SUV head-on.
Lundy and Lindy Simmons were pronounced dead at the scene. Kamryn, Christopher, and two other passengers were transported to a hospital. Kamryn and Christopher died from their injuries at the hospital. The two other passengers remain in critical condition.
Katie DeRouen, the older sister of Lindy, launched a GoFundMe. On the fundraiser page, DeRouen claims Lundy was intoxicated at the time of the crash.
Toxicology samples were taken from both drivers. Results are pending.
Lindy was a student at Nicholls University. School officials sent an email to students and others offering counseling to those who requested it.
Lindy is the fourth Nicholls student to die in a car crash in as many weeks. Three Luling natives and Hahnville grads were on their way to a birthday dinner when they were struck and killed. The driver in that crash was arrested at the scene on suspicion of DWI fourth offense.
Christopher plays basketball at Acadiana Christian School.
DeRouen identified the other passengers as her mother, Dawn Simmons, and Christopher’s 16-year-old girlfriend, Marissa. She says the family was driving home from one of Christopher’s basketball games in Monroe.
In the GoFundMe description, DeRouen describes her experience learning about the crash and the devastation her family suffered.
“My dad called me as I was at a Christmas party and told me, ‘Mom got in a wreck. It’s not looking good, but she’s stable.’ I flew to the hospital, crying along the way, thinking my mom was hurt but absolutely not thinking anything worse. When we arrived to LGMC, my brother, Shea and Dad were frantic as they just learned from facebook that the accident involved two fatalities. I was in complete denial and knew both fatalities had to be in the other car. There is no way that God would take one of my little babies from us. As we learned the other car involved only had one occupant, my mind still convinced me that someone is getting their information twisted and it could not be true. Mom arrived very confused with a bleeding spleen, a punctured lung and two broken ankles. We learned today she also has a lacerated carotid artery that they’re worried about bleeding causing a stroke and broken wrists. Marissa had a broken femur and some abdominal bruising. But they were stable and that gave us some relief to be able to deal with locating my siblings. The state trooper called my dad back to say that the “young blonde that was driving” did not survive as well as the driver of the other car,” it reads.
DeRouen says she frantically drove to three different hospitals to track down her family members.
“My sweet, innocent, perfect baby brother who had his entire life ahead of him, was laying there, lifeless,” she recalled. “I have never in my life experienced more pain than in that moment. ... Nothing took away the pain that was bruising in my heart. The three babies of the family are gone.”
“Our lives are shattered,” she concluded. “I don’t know how we will ever move on or recover from this.”
Sunday afternoon, DeRouen says her mother underwent surgery and would be out of the ICU soon.
“She is becoming more coherent so we can’t hold off much longer. Still struggling with accepting the fact that we are no longer 9, but 6. 💔” her Facebook post read.
Marissa had surgery on a broken femur and is “completely devastated.”
“Marissa was Christopher’s entire world and they were joined at the hip,” DeRouen wrote. “She will need lots of prayers to get her through this.”
A vigil was held Sunday on Main Street.
“There are no words to describe losing all 3 of the babies of the family,” she says. “We all have their gifts wrapped under the tree.”
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